Sunday, 31 March 2013

How to...Wear Checks
                            Hermès                                                         Sportmax                                                Michael Kors

The graphic prints favoured by many designers in recent seasons have given way to the check as the pattern du jour for spring/summer.  

And the front runner in the check stakes, the 'window pane' or 'noughts and crosses' check, is the subject of this fun short film by The Guardian's Jess Cartner-Morley...

While this trend may seem to herald a switch to something much more simple, may be not...Yes, the pattern can be worn very simply in a single piece, but why not steer clear from safe and play with several sizes or mix and match contrasting colourways?

Confused over your checks?   Here's a handy guide to some of the most popular designs courtesy of Melanie Abrams of FT Style.  

Prince of Wales: The distinctive shadowy check-on-check design was created for Edward VII’s shooting garb but popularised by his son, the Duke of Windsor. As in: elegant tailoring with a regal twist.

Tattersall: A sparse, two-colour check, usually on a pale background, that takes its name from the race auctioneers Tattersalls. As in: flannel shirts for the horsey set.

Dogtooth: (or houndstooth or puppytooth, depending on size): a broken check made up of jagged graphic shapes, usually in stark black and white. As in: Christian Dior New Look suits.

Madras: The bright plaid cotton fabric that takes its name from the English name for Chennai, India, is as loud as checks get. Think: ultra-preppy classics and look-at-me beach shorts.

Gingham: A single-colour, overlapping check design that gets its name from the French word guingan. As in: Doris Day’s curtains.

Check mate!

Want to read more?

How to Dress-Checks
Squares with Flair

Look out for future posts in this series...

To learn more about booking a personal styling appointment simply pop in and see me at the shop or click here for my contact details. 

How to... Tame the Trends

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Scarlet Fever

The Sartorialist

With this 'lovely' British weather continuing to take its toll on our collective mood, these wonderful shots, snapped by The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman, certainly helped to lift my spirits. Maybe spring is just around the corner...

Scarlet instantly shouts new season, and what better way to add that pop of colour to your closet than with this perfect piece by Paul Ka...

Paul Ka

The traditional, typically masculine styled shirt dress has been given a much more feminine feel by the French fashion house, with its form fitting silhouette and softly gathered hem. C'est parfait! 

Size:10 / Price:£99.50

Friday, 29 March 2013

Walk this Way

                       Phoebe Philo                                            Sara Blomqvist                                       Columbine Smille

During a recent wardrobe editing session with a client, the conversation turned to trainers.  And it's not the first time that this 'functional' footwear has crept into the conversation...

I have several clients whose commute involves quite a lengthy walk, so they face the daily dilemma of comfort versus style. Do they suffer for the sake of fashion and grin and bear it in their favourite heels, or pop on some much more sensible shoes and carry their favoured footwear with them for a quick change at the office?

Understandably, the latter option does tend to win out, in the end, but for many of the women I see, the issue of how to look, and feel, stylish still remains. 

If you too face the same footwear challenge, you may have invested in a couple of pairs of those popular fold up ballet pumps. A great idea. But if you're not really a 'Pretty Ballerina' kind of girl, there is another option...

Trainers, yes that's right.  That's not a typo.  We're not talking grubby gym shoes here, or those bright white running shoes à la 1980's Working Girl.  The new breed of trainer is a fashion statement in it's own right.  

See how the trainers worn by the stylish trio above are a considered part of their overall look, rather than a necessary after thought?  

There are so many styles to choose from to suit your own mode of dressing, including sporty from the likes of Adidas and Nike, the simply stylish Converse and Vans, and not forgetting the wedge heeled variety championed by the queen of Parisian laid back luxe Isabel Marant. 

So, why not combine sensible with stylish and seek out a pair or two of sneakers? Street Chic at its best!   

For more inspiration, take a look at these online sneaker sites...

Thursday, 28 March 2013

More Marant!

                                            Sailor Boots                                                                          Franklin Boots

These must have Marant boots have just arrived in store! 

Whether you favour the python print or matt black with beading, either pair will add that essential piece of Parisian chic to your wardrobe.

In store while stock lasts!

Sailor Boots
Size:5 / Price:£250.00

Franklin Boots
Size:4 / Price:£350.00

Both pairs come complete with their original box and dust bags.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Easter Event!

Visit the shop on Good Friday, and as a special thank you to all our lovely loyal customers we will be offering a 10% discount on every purchase made on the day*

Simply mention this blog to claim your discount.

We will be open from 10.00am to 4.00pm and look forward to seeing you!

Good Friday:     10.00am to 4.00pm
Easter Saturday: 10.00am to 5.00pm
Easter Sunday:   Closed
Easter Monday:   Closed

*The 10% discount will be applied to all purchases made on Friday, 29th March 2013, either in store or by phone, with the exception of items already reduced and Total Wardrobe Care products.  The reduction in price will be bourne entirely by Panache and will not affect the amounts that have been agreed will be paid to the owners of items sold.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A New Lesson in Layering

Images via Blog and the City

As many of you will know, I'm a big fan of the layered look, not least because in this bitterly cold weather it's by far the best way to keep warm!

However, even I am getting a bit jaded by having to layer up each day.  Winter seems to have gone on for so long that my favourite method of dressing, which is usually how I get the most out of my wardrobe, is now itself becoming ever so slightly boring...

But as luck would have it, here's a new take on the look that I've recently discovered. Why not try layering several jackets for yourself?  Hopefully, spring will arrive before the novelty of this style statement wears off... 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Monochrome Must Have
                             Marc Jacobs                                                   Giles                                                          Jason Wu

Unless you've been in hiding for the past few months, you can't fail to have noticed that this season, it's all about the drama of black and white dressing.

Make your own fashion statement in this perfect piece from MaxMara, new in store...


Size:10 / Price: £150.00

Sunday, 24 March 2013

100 Years of Prada

The Original Prada Store in Milan

It's 100 years this year since Mario and Martino Prada founded their small leather goods company in Milan.

But it wasn't until 1978, when grand-daughter Miuccia took the helm, that the brand was transformed into the worldwide success that it is today.  

Miuccia Prada remains one of the true creatives in fashion.  Season after season she continually reinvents the label, and is known for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.   

I still have fond memories of the black ballistic nylon Prada bag that I wore and wore until it eventually wore out! One of my very first designer purchases.

This year's spring/summer collection saw Mrs Prada embrace Japonisme.  "I wanted it to be tough and serious" she said. But in true Miuccia style, she then turned this notion on it's head by incorporating floral blooms and folds of duchesse satin into the designs. 

You can see the full runway show here...



Saturday, 23 March 2013

David Bowie is

Striped Bodysuit for Aladdin Sane Tour - Masayoshi Sukita

Today sees the opening in London of the very first international retrospective celebrating the colourful career of David Bowie.

"David Bowie is" explores Bowie's impact on the fashion as well as music and art worlds, and includes original stage costumes such as his famous Ziggy Stardust bodysuits.

The exhibition has been curated by the V&A, the fastest selling in its history, and runs until 11th August.

David Bowie is 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Fashion as Art

New Icons of Fashion Illustration - Tony Glenville

This lavish 265 page hardback celebrating the art of fashion illustration has just been published.  I can almost hear my poor coffee table groaning as I type... 

But room will definitely have to be made for this gorgeous tome which features the work of 28 of the world's leading illustrators, across a variety of mediums from high tech graphics, to delicate watercolours and ink drawings. 

Be prepared to be inspired... 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Plastic Fantastic!
                         Derek Lam                                                    Versus                                                      Nicole Farhi

The texture trend continues unabated, and this season many designers turned to plastic to add some high gloss glamour to their collections.

If eye popping brights are a touch too bold, then why not opt for more wearable nudes, sheers or white pieces, such as this beautiful plastic and organza tunic new in store... 


Size:10-12 / Price:£75.00

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wish List - 20.03.13

Are you the owner of any of these 'most wanted' items?  If so, and you are happy to sell them, then please do get in touch!

  • Black Lightweight 'Boyfriend' Blazer - Size 8/10
  • Sandro Clothing
  • Black Leather Jacket - Size 12/14
  • Aspinal Handbags
  • Isabel Marant Clothing - Sizes 8 and 10
  • Moncler Gilet - Size 10/12
  • Black Short Fitted Jacket - Size 6/8
  • Black Leather Biker Style Jacket - Size 10
  • Louis Vuitton 'Speedy' Bag
  • Black Patent Knee High Boots - Size 5/6
  • Yellow Skirt - Size 8/10
  • Leather Bag with Compartments (to fit iPad)

And if you have some must haves of your own, then why not send us the details and we'll add them to our next Wish List.

Thank you! 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

McQueen And I

I am SO pleased to have found this, courtesy of Twitter! I watched the original screening on More4 back in 2011, and had almost given up trying to find a copy.

For fans of Alexander McQueen, and fashion in general, this must see documentary examines the designer's relationships with the people that surrounded and supported him, most significantly Isabella Blow, the eccentric stylist credited with discovering his genius.

An insightful and very moving film...    

Monday, 18 March 2013

Cut it Out

               Balmain  /                                    Alaia /                                 Valentino /

Laser cutting and ornate filigree detailing form one of the standout trends for spring, and what better way to embrace the look than in these perfect leather pumps new in store... 


Size:4 / Price:£75.00

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Street Chic #2

Vogue Magazine

"In the most basic of terms, add trainers to everything...and you've got luxe street style nailed."  Emily Sheffield - Vogue Magazine

And have we got some trainers for you!

These luxe Louis Vuitton's have just arrived in store...

Louis Vuitton

Size:6 / Price:£125.00

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Street Chic #1
                Stella McCartney                                      Jonathan Saunders                                       Richard Nicholl

Today, our lifestyles increasingly demand that our clothes deliver on function as well as fashion, and the reworking of streetwear staples into chic separates provides the perfect wardrobe solution. 

The bomber jacket is the latest item of streetwear to be given a luxury makeover by designers, following in the fashionable footsteps of the once humble baseball jacket.     

And this super silky bomber has just arrived in store!  Snap it up while stock lasts...

Stella McCartney

Size:10 / Price:£125.00

Friday, 15 March 2013

How to...Tame the Trends

Now, be honest.  How many of you took one look at this picture and shuddered...

I'm often confronted with "I couldn't possibly wear that" when discussing a season's new trends with my clients, and customers at the shop also regularly bemoan the fact that the runway so often seems so far away from reality. However, as I always say, it's all in the styling...

Looking up to date doesn't mean dressing head to toe in the latest trends (thank goodness), but taking inspiration from the catwalks is the clever way to keep your look current.

While crop tops may have featured heavily in the spring/summer shows, with models from Balenciaga to Prada sporting these midriff bearing styles, for most of us this trend, in its literal sense, falls well outside our sartorial comfort zones.

So, how to incorporate the look into our everyday?  Take a tip from these two style mavens... 

The layered approach was also adopted by Isabel Marant in her recent autumn/winter 2013/14 show....

And taking this one stage further, her black and grey block knit creates the same cropped/layered effect...

We all have our own fashion boundaries, but with a simple bit of styling it is possible to nod to the trends without compromising our own unique look.

Look out for future posts in this series...

To learn more about booking a personal styling appointment simply pop in and see me at the shop or click here for my contact details. 

How to...Shop the High Street

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Chanel Jacket

The Chanel jacket is a timeless wardrobe classic, and its enduring appeal is celebrated here in this short film. 

'The Jacket' is the fourth instalment in the house's Inside Chanel series, which examines key moments in its history.  And this particular film charts the evolution of the now iconic piece from its conception by Coco Chanel in the 1950's through its many subsequent reincarnations courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

All About The Bag

Harper's Bazaar
Chanel Plexiglass Clutch

"It's got to be roomy, smart but not scarily beautiful and above all, have pockets"  India Knight - The Sunday Times Style Magazine

What's your perfect bag?  In her recent article, India Knight questioned why bags are so hard to get right and issued a plea to bag designers to think of their customers.

Most of us are very particular when describing our ideal bag.  It's probably the one wardrobe item we own that we're likely to wear most often, and we need it to fit comfortably with our lifestyle as well as our personal style.

Customers in the shop often apologise, quite unnecessarily, for their long list of requirements when looking for a new bag.  And whether it's as straightforward as a certain colour so that it coordinates with the majority of their wardrobe, or as detailed as having to have a certain type of fastening, these must haves can make or break the success of a purchase.     

Many of the bags on sale at the shop are there because they simply failed to live up to their owners' expectations.  Two of the most common complaints from customers are that even when a bag is empty it can simply be too heavy, and that items often get 'lost' in the depths of the inside (India Knight is a big fan of compartments).

I must admit, I gave up on the quest for a single bag that fits all a while ago. Instead, I adopted the 'one bag of each type' approach.  So, I have invested in two totes (one summer and one winter), two shoppers (one large and one medium size), a satchel, a smart shoulder bag, a cross body messenger and a clutch.  One for every eventuality!

If you haven't yet found your perfect carry all, then why not enlist our help?  Simply send us the details and we'll endeavour to track it down for you.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Take My Picture

click here to view

Today, the biannual round of catwalk shows has become as much about who is wearing what off the runway as the designs the models are sporting on it.

And the ever increasing number of bloggers who congregate outside the show venues hoping to be photographed, as well as their impact on the industry, sparked a hot debate among fashion folk this season.     

I must admit, I enjoy seeing both the runway and real life looks at show time. However, I didn't appreciate the extent of the media scrum surrounding the so called street style 'stars' until I saw this short film commissioned by Garage Magazine. Quite astonishing...

The Circus of Fashion - Suzy Menkes
In the Glare of Fashions Growing Circus a Double Standard? - The Business of Fashion

Monday, 11 March 2013

Online Inspiration

A Selection of my Boards

I've always been a strictly paper and print girl when it comes to collecting inspirational images, but that has now all changed...

I've just joined Pinterest, the online pinboard and social networking site, and it's already becoming quite addictive.

As well as being able to pin favourite images to your own boards, you can also follow other members and share their images. The possibilities are endless!

You can follow me by clicking on the Pinterest icon to the right of this blog, or simply take a look at my handiwork, and why not start creating your own boards?

See you there!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Step Back in Time

Vogue Paris

Retro looking styles are all the rage this season, and these super patent Ferragamo slingbacks tick all the right boxes!  New in store... 

Salvatore Ferragamo

Size:5 / Price:£95.00 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Black & Blue
                   Salvatore Ferragamo                              Isabel Marant                                             Chanel

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (thank you!) will have seen my Tweets during the recent round of catwalk shows regarding this great colour combination.

Once considered something of a fashion faux pas, styling black and blue together is now bang on trend, with many designers including the colourway in their collections for next autumn/winter.

And as luck would have it, this great black and blue top has just arrived in store! Wear it now and stay one step ahead of the curve...

Alice + Olivia

Size: 12 / Price: £75.00

Friday, 8 March 2013

An Ode to Chloé #2

While researching my original Ode to Chloé post, I came across these beautiful illustrations.

I've since discovered that they were created by Sandra Suy for the Chloé Attitudes exhibition in Paris.

You can see Sandra's full collection of Chloé illustrations here, as well as learn more about the pieces that make up the brand's anniversary collection and the designers, past and present, behind the iconic French label.  

Sandra Suy

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Scandi Style

"Malene Birger has become an icon in terms of Danish fashion design, and her brand 'By Malene Birger' is synonymous with feminine, timeless classics"
                                                                                                                                 Carmen Borgonovo - Fashion Director,  

This year, By Malene Birger celebrates its ten year anniversary. The brand is known for its utterly feminine designs, influenced by the glamour of the 1950s and 1960s, and Malene Birger herself continues to be the driving force behind the label today.

One of her key seasonal pieces is the pretty silk tunic top, and we have just the thing in store!

By Malene Birger

Size:8 / Price:£55.00

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Suits You?
                         Céline                                              Stella McCartney                                       Saint Laurent

Much has been written in the fashion press recently about the return of the trouser suit.  But with designers no longer able to dictate what we wear, is this decree simply falling on deaf ears?

I was a trouser suit wearer once.  Back in my corporate days, I could regularly be seen trudging through the city streets in a selection of two pieces.  And even though I would always seek out something a little different (there weren't too many of us in the square mile dressed in Ann Demeulemeester) for me a suit still spelt work. 

Now that my career has taken a very different direction, I relish my new found fashion freedom.  But it's not just my life that has changed since the height of our trouser suit wearing days, but women's lifestyles in general.  Are we really ready to re-embrace the sartorial restrictions of the suit?   

Fashion today is all about mixing and matching, and the flexibility of the trouser suit, however stylish, is rather limited.  Yes, it can be split and the pieces also worn separately, but this creates the potential for one part to wear more quickly than the other, and sometimes when worn this way, certain suits do strangely look like their other half is missing.

Despite my rather negative viewpoint, if you read this blog regularly or follow me on Twitter you'll know that I'm a fan of the androgynous look that a well cut trouser suit does deliver.  And I adore the two pieces that Hedi Slimane sent down his first Saint Laurent catwalk, with their close fitting jackets and cropped cigarette pants. However...

I can recreate this look in a myraid ways with some well chosen separates, a look that I will have styled for myself rather than one I would feel someone else has created for me.  

As you've probably gathered, I remain to be convinced.  What do you think?  

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Spring's New Heel
                         Louis Vuitton                                                         Miu Miu

Lovers of the lower heel your time has come!

These super mid heeled styles, shown on the most influential catwalks, were a refreshing sight at the spring/summer shows.  And as luck would have it, we have the perfect pair in store!  

Jimmy Choo

Size:4 / Price:£99.50

Monday, 4 March 2013

How to...Shop the High Street

Dressing head to toe in designer clothes is no longer considered de rigeur, and looking current now is all about how we mix those key designer pieces with our high street fashion finds.

We're lucky to have what's generally considered to be the best high street fashion here in the UK, and Elle's 'Style for Less' supplement, free with the magazine's April issue, is dedicated to our much loved affordable labels.  

Here are fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis's top tips for getting the most from the Great British High Street...

High End Meets High Street
It's a brilliant idea to buy into high-street designer collaborations. Because the pieces are limited edition, they will end up being collectable, but more importantly, they have got the attention to detail and quality control that the designers bring to their own ranges.

Style at any Age
You can buy great pieces on the high street at any age.  It's about looking for pieces that work with your existing style.

Catwalk vs Classic
Avoid anything that's a direct copy of a major catwalk piece.  It will be obvious it isn't the real thing and can look tacky. Stick to classic or statement pieces instead.

And my own top tip?  

The high street is great for stocking up on those essential wardrobe staples.  Why pay designer prices for items such as basic t'shirts and jeans when the high street does them so well? 

And if it's good enough for Emmanuelle Alt...  

Emmanuelle Alt

The super stylish editor of French Vogue swears by Top Shop's Baxter skinny jeans, as do I! 

Click here for details. 

Look out for future posts in this series...

To learn more about booking a personal styling appointment simply pop in and see me at the shop or click here for my contact details. 

How to...Master Minimalism