Sunday, 30 September 2012

There's Something About Burberry

I love fashion. It excites me. But every now and again a fashion house creates something so spectacularly special, that to call my feelings excitement would be an understatement. This month Burberry has given me an indescribable buzz that I just can't seem to shake off (it doesn't help that I work 200 metres from the newly renovated Regents Street flagship!) Fashion is constantly pushing boundaries and conquering new territory, but Burberry smashes these boundaries, and is consistently miles ahead of any other fashion house in terms of innovation. For Burberry, fashion is about creating a unique and modern way of life, whilst keeping British classics at the forefront of their campaigns. They relentlessly pursue the possibilities of fashion, whilst not forgetting their heritage; and what is most impressive is that they pull it off with seeming ease and that certain ultra-cool attitude that only Burberry can exude.

If you don't believe me then simply have a look at their newly renovated flagship on Regents Street, London. They took the concept of a traditionally luxurious store and added modernity through cleverly utilised technology. The glorious pompous ceilings, the grand theatre-like staircases, and the beautifully crafted chandeliers, are edgily contrasted by digitally created thunderstorms, fitting rooms with screens which show pieces on the catwalk, and a large screen which is capable of live-streaming catwalk shows from around the globe.

The brand describes the store as 'future-proof', and it is obvious as to why. It has that untouchable British Burberry atmosphere, created by clashing the grandeur of old with the technology of now. Another deliciously tempting aspect of the store is that it is the only place where you can pick up pieces from their exclusive Regents Street collection. The collection is modeled by Burberry's golden girl, Cara Delevigne, and the pieces are quite simply exquisite.

A September blog post on Burberry would not be complete without mentioning their thrilling Burberry Prorsum SS13 collection which was shown at London Fashion Week. I watched the show online, and by the end of it I was simply stunned into silence. Normally when I watch a show I am busy making notes and internally commenting on each outfit, but watching the Burberry Prorsum SS13 show unfold, all I could do was gawp in amazement. I really cannot find the words to explain how I felt about the show; it was just stunning, and glowed with that special Burberry magic that no other brand can seem to touch. Yes, it is one of the more commercial brands in the industry, but Christopher Bailey makes commercial delightfully luxurious and awe-inspiring. The closing moments of the show where the crowds were treated to visuals of a model-parade-shaped-rainbow created a very special fashion moment. My eyes didn't quite know where to look, but the overall affect was absolutely beautiful. Here are some of my favourite looks (although it is impossible to choose):

Burberry are definitely my brand of the month - no mean feat considering that this September has been one of the most exciting in the history of fashion. It seems that something is stirring in the fashion industry - a feeling that fashion is growing - and Burberry are certainly leading the way in this fashion revolution!

Love Lucy x

Saturday, 29 September 2012

A French Sole Secret....sssssh!

As you know, I attended the David Koma show at London Fashion Week a few weeks ago. What you don't yet know is that I was also granted access to the Press showrooms at Somerset House. I have already expressed my love for French Sole shoes, so as you can imagine I was delighted when I got the opportunity to chat with their lovely Press team!

I was thrilled by the new collections that were on display, and wish that I could share all of the tasty designs that make up the French Sole SS13 collection, but I have promised to keep most of their secrets until after the Press day in November! What I will say is that their fans should be excited... very excited!

However, I have been allowed to reveal just one exciting aspect of one French Sole collection. And the buzz word is neon! Yes, NEON! French Sole have decided to make a selection of ballet flats that are gorgeously bright, yet beautifully made, a perfect twist on their classic collections.

These delightful shoes will be the new must have for any French Sole fan, old or new. They are the perfect item to brighten up any outfit. As you know, I have a tendency to wear a lot of black, so these shoes will be a lift saver when I want to inject some colour into an outfit! 

Sadly, for now, this is the only French Sole secret that I can share, but look forward to more after their Press day in November! 

In the meantime have a browse of their other gorgeous shoes that are out at the moment:

Love Lucy x

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Cutler & Gross and Clash London Fashion Week Party

I love anything in fashion that is unique, quintessentially British, and extremely well-made. So I was thoroughly delighted when a dear friend and fellow blogger invited me to the London Fashion Week wrap party at the Cutler & Gross Vintage store in Knightsbridge. You can read her blog at:

Cutler & Gross are a refreshingly traditional, yet excitingly innovative brand, and have become synonymous with prestigious optometric design. They succinctly combine high quality with high fashion; a combination which is made all the more delicious by the fact that they are fashion's best kept secret since 1969. Unlike many British brands Cutler & Gross has maintained a low profile outside of the fashion world, a move which is entirely intentional. The refusal to expand beyond what the brand sees as necessary is due to an unshakeable loyalty to its customers - something which seems alien in an industry driven by consumerism and profit. This attitude was conceived by Graham Cutler and Tony Gross when they bought their first store together in 1969; and it has been continued by their protege Marie Wilkinson who started out at the company in 1982 as an intern, and is now the Design Director. These three dedicated optometric gurus all believe in quality over quantity, and practicality with fabulous design - two factors which make Cutler & Gross so delectably individual. 

Cutler & Gross glasses and sunglasses are delightfully pretentious, and have a right to be so. Each pair is lovingly handmade in their very own factory in Cadore, Italy, and go through unique processes to achieve that imperfect perfect finish which only handcrafted items will achieve. To find out more about these processes have a look at their website:

Each pair is delicately adorned with the gold foil logo on the inside of the frame, with only a number appearing on the outer frame - an elegant touch which echoes the sentiments of the company. Their products are so exquisitely made that they speak for themselves, and garish logos splashed on the outer frames would be completely unnecessary and out of sync with the brand. 

However, as well as being a brand that is permeated by tradition, it is also not afraid of youthful injections. The London Fashion Week party was intended to celebrate Project 0734, as well as to promote the SS13 collection. Project 0734 was a collaborative effort with London College of Fashion, and gave a select few graduates the opportunity to enter their designs into a competition which would reward them with a position within the Cutler & Gross design team if they were successful. 

The judges included Marie Wilkinson, Jonathan Saunders, Richard Young, and London College of Fashion Head of College Frances Corner. The graduates were set the task of designing a collection of glasses to go with their final graduate shows. The talented winner was Nicola Brindle, whose inspiration was "tacky Vegas weddings". Her final pieces are wonderfully fun and vibrant, but also obviously handcrafted and unique, making her the perfect candidate to bring some youthful vigour into the brand. The willingness of Cutler & Gross to take on a fresh graduate is key to the development, and also to the continuity, of the values of the brand. Here are some of Nicola's final designs:

To find out more about Nicola's progression be sure to check out the blog on the Cutler & Gross website:

I also had the opportunity to chat to Rose, who was the runner-up of Project 0734. Her creations are equally as colourful and exciting, basing her concept on Glam Rock and 80s street wear. Her designs impressed the Cutler & Gross team so much that they created an internship for her, and she is now gaining invaluable experience with the brand. 

As mentioned, another significant point to the evening was to promote the Cutler & Gross SS13 range. I was extremely fortunate to talk with Marie Wilkinson herself, who enchantingly explained what the collection is all about: surrealism. 

The concept is surrealism; and Marie's influences were Salvador Dali, the Bauhaus exhibition at the Barbican, melting clocks, eyes, seeing, and merging. This is a wonderfully self-conscious concept, and I find it utterly intriguing that Cutler & Gross are committed to making exceptional glasses, but at the same time are playing with ideas which are inspired by an exploration of twisting optical truths. Marie Wilkinson is a design genius, and is obviously highly passionate about her career and her products. She described the processes of how a pair of Cutler & Gross glasses are made, and although I admittedly did not understand everything she was saying (my background is not in design or production), I was thoroughly intrigued, and was nearly inspired to pack a bag and jump on a plane to Italy to see the wonderfully traditional factory where the Cutler & Gross products are made! The SS13 collection will be shown at Paris Fashion Week next week. 

The evening was complimented perfectly by the inclusion of Clash magazine. Clash is a publication which is also fairly underground, but committed to the quality of their product. The October issue covered the walls of the Cutler & Gross Vintage store, and just so happened to match the eccentric purple staircase at the back of the shop!

The evening was a chilled-out, understated triumph. It was a chance for the loyal customers and fans of Cutler & Gross to come together and to celebrate the old and the new. The gift bags contained: a copy of Clash magazine; a copy of Forty Years of Vision and Style, 1969-2009, Cutler & Gross; a Cutler & Gross glass cleaning cloth; and a tube of Berocca. The message from the gift bag was clear: we appreciate our collaborators; we uphold our history and traditions; we take care of our products; and we look after our customers (and the hangover they will have tomorrow!).

I have certainly now been made into a lifelong fan of Cutler & Gross, and look forward to purchasing my first pair in the not-so-distant future! 

Love Lucy x

Monday, 17 September 2012

London Fashion Week: David Koma SS13 courtesy of Vodafone VIP

Today I was fortunate enough to attend the David Koma SS13 show at the prestigious Somerset House in London. I was lucky to win a pair of tickets through Vodafone VIP - as I am not (yet) blogging royalty this was one of the few ways I was ever going to see a show at London Fashion Week!

Somerset House is the heart of LFW, and I could feel fashion pulsing through its veins as I walked through the Strand Entrance. Bright colours, vertiginous heels, and eclectic fashion lovers busily buzzed around the gorgeous courtyard, all desperate to breath in every particle of the fashionable air! Gushing as this paragraph my seem, this is truly how Somerset House feels during LFW, and it is clear to see why London is often thought of as the fashion capital of the world.

Skirt: Topshop
Top: Zara
Belt: Viyella
Cape: F&F (bargain!)
Bag: Dooney and Bourke
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Shoes: Boutique in Islington, London

I did feel as though I should have been braver in my fashion choices for the day, and if there is a next time I will definitely try a more exciting outfit! Although, I do love my shoes!

My prize included exclusive access to the Vodafone VIP lounge, where we were treated to nibbles, champagne, watching David Koma's show from a VIP viewing platform, and the opportunity to chat to Colomba Giacomini (one of the hottest stylists around).

Pre-show my companion and I nabbed the chance to talk with Colomba. I was with my boyfriend's Mum, and Colomba complimented her on the gorgeous coat she was wearing - describing it as 'very Stella'! Big style points! She asked Colomba what she would suggest for women who were slightly older, and was delighted to find that she was spot on by going for a simple palette, such as black, and then adding one statement piece to set off the look. For a girl of my age she suggested that I could be more bold, perhaps trying out the clashing print trend that can often be difficult to pull off. But most encouragingly she revealed that next season is less about trends and more about colour, prints, and textured material, such as brocade. She was also refreshingly human when she said that it doesn't matter if you wear something that doesn't quite work, after all it is only one day of your life, and there is always tomorrow!

Now for the show! 

David Koma is a Central St. Martins graduate - one of their finest. He burst onto the fashion scene after graduating in 2009, and being awarded the Harrod's Design Award for his graduate collection. His collections have always celebrated and explored the female form, and he has become known for his contouring and sculpting. It can possibly be said that his previous collections are very 'fashion' and not so 'commercial', however, although SS13 saw his signature structured pieces, this time it was possible to see his catwalk creations walk straight into the shops.

The feeling before the show was expectant; this is a designer who always places so much time and effort into his concepts, and this consideration is greatly appreciated amongst the fashion elite. His front row was graced by Pixie Lott and her boyfriend Oliver Cheshire. The atmosphere was primed for an evocative show.

It was clear from the first outfit that David Koma's show was inspired by female tennis stars: unsurprising considering that Maria Sharapova has recently been snapped in one of his creations, and that her chewing gum brand, Sugarpova, was one of the sponsors. It was also apparent that his collection was given a 60s twist, with the gamine models, bright colours, and extremely high hemlines. Overall, it is a fabulous concept, and extremely relevant considering the recent success of British tennis and sport over the last few months.

Koma's creations screamed power, prowess and strength. The short and structured recreations of the classic tennis dress looked fierce coming down the runway. They were given a fashion twist through the use of layered organza over stiff under-material, and also through the use of strong colours. Special sporting references included the tennis-net-like material used on some of the dress, and the tennis racket handle shoes (made in collaboration with Alain Quilici). It was a wonderfully chic homage to sporting women and strong women alike, and Koma could not have released a more appropriate collection considering that the nation is still pining after the end of the Olympics and Paralympics.

The collection looked particularly spectacular during the finale of the show, when the audience could see Koma's creations altogether, and could see the story that they told.

So, here are some of my favourite looks from the show, (taken from Vogue's website as my camera simply isn't good enough!):

David Koma's show was an absolute triumph. I have a feeling that his tennis-influenced dresses will be copied by many a highstreet store - as was his peplum design from the AW12 show back in February. The show, combined with Colomba's advice, inspired me to inject some more colour into my wardrobe, and I can't wait to hit the shops to try out my new found enthusiasm for trying something new!

Thank you Vodafone VIP, and thank you David Koma. It truly was a wonderful experience!

Love Lucy x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

London Fashion Week: Topshop Unique SS13

The Topshop Unique SS13 showcase was one of the most highly anticipated shows of London Fashion Week. The revolutionary introduction of an interactive online video stream increased the pre-show hype for those of us who were not lucky enough to attend in reality. When the front row fashionistas were arriving, viewers around the globe could see celebrities such as Olivia Palermo and Elle Fanning making themselves at home in the hottest seats in London. The white, oval-shaped catwalk was an elegant taster to what Topshop Unique had in store, and suggested that we were about to see a serene and pure collection.

I was sure that the show would include monochrome, yellow, and simple patterns, and I certainly was not disappointed. The photographs I have used in this post are taken from the Topshop Twitter page and are from behind the scenes at the show. I have chosen a couple of my favourite looks - a difficult task seeing as the collection was incredibly wearable - and will include a few sentences as to why I have chosen each look.

This was my favourite look of the entire show. The ultra-cool monochrome pattern of the mini-dress is extremely current, and not at all fussy. I can see it being worn in the day time, evening, or out at night, suggesting a very versatile piece. The beautiful yellow jacket sets off the dress perfectly, and would make any girl stand out in a crowd. The material of both the dress and the jacket looks light and luxurious - a perfect material for either slinking down a catwalk or the high street. I really cannot wait to get my hands on this opulent outfit! 

I truly loved the tone of the yellow used in the Topshop Unique show, so naturally I loved this trouser and long jacket combination. It looked fantastic coming down the all-white catwalk, and really stood out amongst the looks. The patterned top underneath was suitably interesting in its own right, but not overpowering. Another must have outfit for SS13!

The jumpsuit still deserves to be a fashion staple. They are wonderfully wearable, and offer a stylish alternative to dresses. This one is particularly gorgeous, and I am in love with the pattern! I am a monochrome lover, and this tartan is an absolute delight! I really think that this highly wearable piece will feature in my SS13 wardrobe. 

Coco Chanel knew the power of black and white, and so does Topshop Unique. It may seem like a contradiction, but I think that this outfit is simple yet dramatic. The skirt is a modest length, but the cropped top gives the outfit a more youthful injection. The long white jacket creates an elegant silhouette, and the elegance continues down to the feet with the delicate silver heels. 

It seems that no prestigious catwalk show at LFW is complete without the gorgeous Cara Delevingne, and here she is wearing an equally gorgeous look. I am in love with the collarless jacket: the colour and texture make it look very high-end, and I will certainly be adding it to my SS13 wishlist! The top, high-waisted skirt, jacket, and clutch combination create an ultra-cool look that I am sure will be imitated by many fashion loving girls around the globe. 

I adore the midnight tone of this striped jacket. This alluring look is most definitely another of my favourites, as I love black and blue together. It looked extremely sexy and dramatic coming down the luminously white catwalk, and I am also extremely jealous of this model's toned torso! 

The Topshop Unique SS13 collection was an absolute triumph, and has most definitely been one of my highlights of LFW so far. 

Tomorrow I will be making my way to Somerset House to watch the David Koma show live, and I am literally buzzing with excitement! Watch this space!

Love Lucy x

Saturday, 15 September 2012

GQ Carnaby Style Night: The Best of British

Thursday night saw the infamous Carnaby Street in London's trendy Soho area play host to GQ Magazine's Style Night. The event promised 20% discounts in all shops, free entertainment, complimentary cocktails from Monkey Shoulder, free barbers for men, and many a giveaway!

The Soho area has long been known as an eclectic and energetic place, and was the perfect setting for GQ's event. In this post I'll be writing about my top three shopping experiences: the theatrical make up shop Illamasqua, Liam Gallagher's contemporary Mod themed shop Pretty Green, and the well established Ben Sherman. I've chosen these brands as they are unique and exude that special British quirkiness.

Illamasqua cosmetics pride themselves in being different. Developed out of the desire to express individuality in an 'alternative' way, it is a brand which celebrates subcultures and theatricality. Sourcing its products from Kryolan - a theatrical makeup company - Illamasqua cosmetics are heavy duty and are not for the faint hearted. This is a brand which does not shy away from the spotlight, and their GQ event highlighted this wonderfully audacious attitude. Two voluptuous models sat in their window displays, playfully performing to the crowd, and drawing much attention to the shop from the street. Inside, their colourful products were proudly displayed, and their high energy music reflected the image of the brand. The collection which was the most enticing was their Generation Q collection, designed for all ages, races, and types of people. Illamasqua revel in being a unique brand, and the GQ event made it clear that in turn they want to celebrate uniqueness. This has always been their highest value, and is shown by their continued support for the beautiful Sophie Lancaster Foundation. 

Another super-trendy shop which deserves to be noticed is Liam Gallagher's Pretty Green. Again this is a wonderfully British brand, which was launched two years ago, and draws on inspirations from the swinging 60s. The DJ played some classic songs, most significantly from The Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street, which was the inspiration for their most recent collection. Although this album was not released during the 60s, it is still reminiscent of the Mod era, and suits the Pretty Green brand perfectly. The stand out pattern of this collection is paisley, a fantastically British pattern. Another exciting recent collection was developed in collaboration with the cult film Quadrophenia; a collaboration which has produced some innovative yet nostalgic contemporary modern pieces. This is definitely a British brand to watch, and if you ever visit the Carnaby store be sure to pop upstairs to visit John, Paul, Ringo and George!

Ben Sherman completes my GQ Carnaby Style Night top three. It is the most established brand out of my three choices, however in recent years it has given itself an impressive make over, and has really learnt how to play up its British roots. On Thursday night they provided men with free wet shaves from Sharp's Barbers, treated shoppers to the beautiful sounds of a live band called Dry The River, had an in-store DJ, and gave its shoppers the opportunity to win an exquisite parka coat. Their premium collection is certainly very British, and very stylish - reflecting exactly what the brand is about. The stand out pieces from this collection were the bowling bag and the on-trend creepers. It should also be noted that the Ben Sherman staff are extremely helpful, informative, and enthusiastic about the brand.

The event was a success, and was a perfect taster for London Fashion Week which began yesterday. LFW has got off to a very good start, so stay tuned next week for my exclusive coverage of David Koma's show, and the gossip from the Cutler and Gross LFW wrap party. 

Love Lucy x

P.S. I have renamed my blog as it matches my URL and sets me apart from a similar blog name. I hope you approve of the change!