Saturday, 27 February 2010

My name is Jacqui, and I am a perfume addict..

The other day whilst rummaging through my shelves to pick out a perfume I spotted a lone gift set of Paul Smith “Floral” that I'd completely forgotten I had At that point when I hovered back from the designated perfume shelf in my bedroom I realised just how much I actually own.

“My name is Jacqui, and I am a perfume addict...”

Ever since my teenage introduction to perfumes, one of my friends showed me the adorable collection of Jean Paul Gaultier miniatures they'd recently purchased and I was head over heels with the infamous corseted packaging.

Soon after I started testing out perfumes at my local department store, with a taste for the more unisex styled fragrances of the 90's at the time; Ck one and Clinique's Happy being my personal favourites at the tender age of 14.

But this brief introduction to the world of scent sparked something more; whether it was the darling packaging of the perfume itself, brand loyalty, or an appreciation for scent. I had started to become for want of a better term, a perfume whore.

Soon after as I descended upon university, armed with more disposable income through the university grant I started to build upon my collection of personal scents. From the very bottle of Classique that alluded me, to more personalized oil fragrances from U.S company Black phoenix alchemy lab (in my teenage goth days, this was the height of ultra cool buying from a far flung goth heavy perfumery). With scents of sultry aromatics, and rich heavy fruity notes in abundance. This collection of imps, or samples as you will; from bpal started an obsession, collecting perfumes be it full sized bottles of cute little sample sizes.

Admittedly the habit of collecting samples started out of a student necessity; the tight budget as the months went by meant having to scrounge as many samples as possible, be it travel sized bottles of shower gels to swipes and mini bottles of perfumes from counters. I grabbed as many freebies as I could.

My range of scents was as far and wide as it could be, from celebrity perfumes (oh the shame!), to classic designer fragrances.

Once I'd graduated and gone past the need for constant scrounging I started to move on to the heavy weights; full sized bottles. In my years of testing fragrances I had at least started to settle for personal favourites. With a sense for what moved me, and what had me gagging away from the test strip with a headache.
I had developed a taste for the light floral fragrances; notes of rose, lilac, and orange blossoms; to sultry fragrances, and sweeter notes of sherbet and candy floss.

My personal favourites ranged from the independent; Black phoenix alchemy lab's Alice in wonderland inspired “The red queen” for it's subtle caramel notes, to the sweet B never's “Love”, and the opulent and heavy Paul smith's “London”.

These days my collection still resembles an apothecary's cabinet of sorts. Bottles small and large, filled with bright yellows, oranges, pinks, and subtle clear liquids. With my shelf abundant in collections from an almost complete collection of both Paul Smith, and Jean Paul Gaultier's entire fragrance ranges, including discontinued scents; to the odd fragrance from different designers, Harajuku lovers “love”, to DKNY's “Delicious night”, and limited edition fragrances of favourite products by Lush.

My collection does resemble that of a heavy addiction; some women have shoes and handbags, I have fragrances. Whereas my collection does allow me to try a different scent each day, I can pick to suit my mood each day, or simply match the feel of my outfit.

It is a perfume addiction but one I'm happy to have. Now my only problem lies in finding more room for new scents; already pinning down the new edition of Paul Smith's “Rose” and the darling new Candy apple range of DKNY's delicious (if only for the adorable packaging!) as my next purchases in mind. I may be a perfume whore but I'm quite comfortable with that.

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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Thursday favourites

This week there's been more treats on the horizon, with more new pieces turning up on the high street. Despite the majority of the fashion world being at London fashion week it seems that shops have still been stocking up a plenty.

The new H! By House of Holland for Debenhams range has hit the shops; again not being a particularly huge fan of his styles I've been pleasantly surprised by a few choice pieces cropping out of the collection.
With a few of his usual notes of checks, and pops of colour in abundance there's also some key pieces that really pop out like the purple square spot dress with a cute mod flair, to the darling tan satchel bag, and spotty belts.
I'm actually most impressed by the satchel bag it's quite unlike anything he's ever designed! And thats a huge compliment from me.

More of Paul Smith's spring/summer collection has cropped up with incredibly darling polka dot umbrellas, not to mention the amazing mens umbrella with the most astounding lining!

Illasmasquas new pastel nail varnishes have already been talked about for the past couple of months. The latest shades have hit the shops and I just adore the lemony sorbet 'Blow' shade.

These retro inspired high waisted jeans by Silence + Noise at Urban outfitters are what I spent last year trying to find. I may make them one of my very few clothing purchases this season.

& of course the latest issue of The chap has hit the shelves at my local; with not just a darling lingerie feature but also the marvellous & ingenious Rich Fulcher featured too. It's just such a shame my local places in amongst the Nuts section, a lady of one's stature shouldn't be looking up there ;)

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London fashion week; day six round up.

And so sees the final run at London fashion week, yesterday it was the turn of the menswear shows. From Saville row tailors to high street classics it was a mixed bunch on the catwalk.
From nods to Geek chic, similar trends from classic British tailoring with notes of leathers at Gieves & Hawkes show, to layering & nods of military style at Topman's collection.

There was a clear divide of styles from the high street designers to the classic tailors. With more heavy layering, from long cuts under shorter top layers abundant in the high street collections; whereas classic cuts with modern twists on short suits were noticeable from the saville row side.

Personal favourites in the collections from the menswear day were E.Tautz's suits with slight pops of colour from yellow bow ties, to orange suede shoes. Tim Soar's mix of casual chic with layering, and Gieves and Hawkes nod to geek chic amongst their classic staples.

-Image: London fashion week -

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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

London fashion week; day five round up.

Layering and angular cuts were the key notes on show yesterday. With over sized baggy layers peeking out under shorter layers; amongst angular patterns and cuts. Through to a continuation on the knitwear, and checks abundant in previous days.

From a mis mash of angular layering, and traditional tweeds at top cuts of mixed fabrics at Peter Pilotto's show.

Sumptuous mixed prints clashed with all over knitwear suits at Basso and Brooke's show. From printed silk dresses, to knitted jackets and full length silk print suits.

Whilst over at Burberry Prorsum there was a military styled twist on the knitwear, layering look. With tones of green hues a plenty, from khaki jackets and skirts; playing off snakeskin boots.

So today sees the last day of London fashion week with an abundance of my favourite tailors on show today from Gieves & Hawkes, to the marvellous E. Tautz by Patrick Grant.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

London fashion week; day four round up.

Yesterday saw more mixed fabrics a plenty, with crinkles of pvc, atop lycras, furs mixed with nylons, and much more checks and knit wears carrying on the autumn trend.

I adored Antonio Berardi's mix of gothic with glam chic; I'd heard the term gloth tossed about last month and this fits it perfectly. Oodles of black, sensual loose fabrics, mixed with velvets and dark dark lipsticks.

A look carried throughout the day, to Christopher Kane's show with a gothic meets Eastern influence feel. With floral brocades on black mini dresses with an oriental feel, to delicate laces and notes of pvc.

With a more grown up glamour look at Roksanda Ilincic's show, with more of a classic glamour feel. With sumptuous silks, taffeta's, and delicate knits.

Whilst over at Jaeger there was more of an equestrian feel to the show, with tall hats, quilted jackets, and boots. Teamed up with traditional notes of tweeds, suede's, and knit wears.

A traditional look carried through to Paul Smith's collection abundant with tweeds, checks, and knits teamed up with tall riding inspired boots, ruffles, and plenty of traditional British whit.

With the key trends already well set in pace over the past 4 days today looks to be an interesting mix as we start to head towards the end of the week.


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Monday, 22 February 2010

London fashion week; day three round up.

Day three saw an ever abundant range of styles on show; overall there was more signature checks, and knits on show through the day. From jagged checks in Richard Nicholl's collection; to the offset cuts by Vivenne Westwood.
Another style that emerged was futuristic chic; Jasper Conran's collection took on a futuristic cyber feel with reflective prints, and retro cuts giving it a bit of a Blade runner feel; a similar style carried across Louise Goldin's show with more restrictive cuts.

Vivienne westwood's collection took on the check trend with her more traditional tartan prints; in a vibrant pink offset with stunning shades of orange, and red with her twist on traditional cuts.

Betty Jackson's collection was abundant with denims and gold shades, luscious knit wears, and florals.

Whereas Meadham Kirchhoff's collection reminded me of traditional manic street preachers chic; taking touches of plastic tiaras and bangles, mixed with leopard prints, gowns, brocades, and mixed prints. Particularly the panda eye make up, it was almost channeling Nicky Wire minus the hoover; and if you are wondering yes this what my teenage wardrobe was like plus an extra feather boa for ultimate msp chic.

With such an eclectic mix on the catwalk throughout day three it's going to be interesting to see what today throws up as we reach mid fashion week. Obviously I'm quite looking to Paul Smith's collection later today, amongst Pringle's show afterwards.


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Sunday, 21 February 2010

London fashion week; day two round up.

As day two kicked off there were stunning dresses a plenty on the catwalk; with clashing tones and prints a plenty, the braver the combination the more stunning.

It was a little different than expected viewing the shows of the day; the two shows that I'd most been looking forward to viewing, PPQ & House of Holland were the two that I wasn't as surprised by. The collection of muted blacks and golds in PPQ's collection was still wonderfully stylish but not as brashish as I'd hoped. As for House of holland's collection I've never been a huge fan; his tights range for Pretty polly did surprise me but this mainline collections themselves always seem too over powering.

On to the personal highlights; I adored the collection at Charles Anastase's show; with a show bursting with colour, from wonderfully clashing reds mixed with blues, topped off with more ruffles and patchwork prints.
The highlight of the show in particular for me had to be the blue shift dress and red rights combo, it offsets so wonderfully!

To the dresses at Kinder Aggugini's collection which were jaw droopingly stunning; with a gorgeous floor length stitch effect number; not to forget the brocade print mini dress.
And with a collection of classic cut pieces, from skirt suits to a darling plain black cardi and skinny jeans combo.

Finishing off with Mary Katrantzou, with a collection of stunning printed satin dresses; with a delightful contrasting faux clincher effect. With sumptuous prints, reminiscent of elegant silk scarves.

Day threes already on a roll with Betty Jackson's show at the early start I'm already looking forward to seeing the gallery from her show. There's such a fantastic array of designers on show today, from Vivienne Westwood's red label show later today, to Aquascutum and Matthew Williamson this afternoon. I'm quite looking forward to seeing what they all pull out of their hats for their collections.


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Saturday, 20 February 2010

Sonia Rykiel pour H & M

The latest collection by Sonia Rykiel for H & M has just hit the shops. The range, which is priced from £2.99 to £49.99, carries all the Sonia Rykiel hallmarks. With lots of quirky, colourful pieces in the collection; I've already fallen for several pieces without even seeing them up close!

With stripes a plenty, colour notes of canary yellows, baby and neon pinks a plenty in the collection. Amongst ruffled textured notes, and diamante embellishments.

I adore the canary yellow striped bow shirt, diamante beret, and this darling yellow & pink striped cardigan (it just ooozes my long standing idol Candida Doyle's twee chic).

The collection has just launched to a frenzy at Oxford circus, and I'll be sure to raid H & M in the week to pick up and road test a few pieces in the changing rooms; I've already mentally bought the darling yellow & pink cardigan without even seeing it.

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London fashion week; day one round up.

This year despite being house bound with a cold I'm adoring the fact that I can still keep up with the latest shows at London fashion week online with live streams of the shows. Fabulous! I can watch armed with a mug of tea and my most glamorous slippers.

With day one finished, this morning sees the launch of day two's shows. So far I've been enjoying the mix of classic cuts and traditional twists. Here's a few of my favourites from day ones shows.

Paul Costello's show had a wondrous mix, famous for his unique, unexpected materials; quality tailoring and classical shapes.
With notes of tweed, and checks mixed with metallics. Amongst classic cuts and gothic brocades.

A similar style that was carried across in Caroline Charles show with notes of traditional cuts on checks, amongst leopard prints, and faux fur.

I adored Felder felder's collection of black mini dresses with ruffled notes and a heavy gothic feel. Carried through the collection with muted tones on ruffled slips and sleeves.

Overall there was a return to gothic glamour with a classic cut. Notes of leathers and pvcs on classic cut dresses; through to opulent furs.

I'm looking forward to seeing today's shows, particularly PPQ with their recent collections at featuring a bright twist on a traditional mod style; and seeing what Henry Holland can pull out of his quiff.

If you'd like to keep up on the shows you can watch the live streams over at london fashion


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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Thursday favourites

This week it seems like every things been coming out in flurries with new season treats and new stock in abundance. I may be taking Ms Westwood's advice on board this season, purchasing as little as possible in terms of clothes but that hasn't stopped me eyeing up a few treats elsewhere.

The new Summer edition of Paul Smith 'Rose' has been tempting me. Theres a delicate note of Parma violets to it that's just wonderfully addictive!

The new lingerie ranges at Urban outfitters are just darling. With touches of lace and florals on cream, and peach shades.

Dita Von Teese's eye mask for Moschino is just adorable; the perfect mix of glamour with a touch of kitsch design.

I almost crumpled in joy at the new Miss Selfridge range of jewellery; with touches of Parisian and vintage inspiration in abundance I've fallen for the adorable bow earrings and multirow necklaces.

As well as the new range of jewelery fresh in at Dolly dagger with more Parisian inspired earrings and necklaces. Not to forget the adorably kitsch lipstick pens in red & pink.

And to top off the week I'm now officially guest blogging at Alt fashion; an alternative fashion & style site and magazine.
I'll be lending a hand with posts on quirky, vintage, and indie finds. My first post is up now here on the blog.

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Monday, 15 February 2010

Consumer aware-ity

Lately it's seemed as if theres been a plague of copycat designs about on the high street. From this recent article on The guardian website it would seem as if creativity is dry with the high street retailers this year.

Independent designers are clearly being ripped off left, right, and center by high street retailers, and wholesalers to the trade. It's certainly something that I've noticed for a long while, spotting slight re-designs in H & M from indie labels; amongst similar 'diy' styled necklaces in Claires with each new season.

It's as if creativity has lost all meaning and the quick and easy way to create new, cutting edge designs is to simply take them from somebody else.

But in this modern age of social networking it's certainly brought awareness of stolen designs to the public attention far quicker than traditional word of mouth. With Twitter helping to bring a few recent cases to attention seeing how swiftly the rip off of Lady luck rules ok's Russian doll design was removed from it's certainly fantastic to see how word of mouth online and public support for the independent designer can rectify rip off cases.

Personally you can't get more unique than a personally designed, and hand crafted item. It shows a unique sense of your own personality, whilst also stepping away from the current trends with truly cutting edge style.

I for one would much rather support independent designers who truly put the hard work and style into the industry than copycat high street retailers.

If you'd also like to lend your voice to supporting unique and original designers, you might enjoy You thought we wouldn't notice; a site where the designers themselves are naming and shaming the copycats themselves.

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Monday, 8 February 2010

What makes you happy?

It's 1pm & I'm still feeling sluggish today, despite catching up on a weekends worth of corrospondence and getting a fair amount of work done I'm still feeling like I want to crawl back towards the bed.

So what better time to perk myself up with a couple of things that cheer me up in photo form.

-images: The commons; flick / Stockxchng-

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Thursday, 4 February 2010

Delicious with a cherry on top!

I've just discovered the rather tasty Ingredients range at M & S; a bath & body range packed with fruits a plenty that's almost edible.

Packed with plenty of fruity treats from lemon body butters, to pomegranate shower gels, and raspberry lip butters. There is far too much choice with appetising packaging and bathing treats in the range.

The latest fruit to be added to the range is my favourite, the cherry. Which they've delicately fragranced with the light, tantalising fragrance of cherries, yum! I adore the cherry body butter, which would team up for a rather extra tasty treat with the Ingredients lemon shower cream.

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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Not exactly a spring clean

Continuing my non traditional new years resolution I've been attempting a wardrobe sort out this past week. It's amazing what you'll find tucked in the corner on a lone hanger, or poking out of the side of a drawer that you'd even forgotten buying.

In the midst of my sort out I've found excess skirts; the result of Primark doing a rather fabulous bargainous pencil skirt last summer, more tights than I could possibly fit into one drawer; including every possible colour combination with my wardrobe and then some, and far more cardigans than I could possibly wear. I really have been stockpiling in the past year on everything that fits! A result of my wardrobe hunt for petite small sized clothing over the past 18 months.

With all this worry over throw away fashion though I have at least been finding necessary pieces in my wardrobe. A Primark skirt does not have to be thrown away if it's still in as new condition! And of course it's all a case of taking good care of your garments even with so called throw away fashion, and if it's not in so great a condition it's all the more a sewing/re-sewing project. I've already put aside several items to re-sew as tote bags!

But it's certainly made me re-think this seasons purchases, I'll be buying less pieces this season but more long lasting pieces that match my current selection as great separates and we can't complain at saving a little along the way for a high end purchase!

-Image: Nikolas Muray c/o The commons-

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