Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Is Blending in the New Black?

Image via Pinterest

Here's my latest piece for the Huffington Post...

"To be irreplaceable, one must be different", said Coco Chanel.  But with the current vogue for 'reality dressing' being played out on the streets and down the catwalks, it seems that it's 'indifference' which is the order of the day.

Many industry critics have bemoaned the fact that following the latest round of runway shows, it's clear that next spring/summer will again be a season bereft of new ideas.  Apparently, trends are few and far between as understatement and utility continue to rule the runways.  But if fashion is a reflection of society today, aren't we, the customers, to blame for this blandness? Are designers simply giving us the wardrobe staples we want to wear?

Life today for many of us doesn't call for a constant stream of statement pieces in here today gone tomorrow styles.  Our wardrobes are now increasingly being filled with functional, 'forever' pieces that reflect our fast moving lives.   Practical and comfortable are the new buzzwords, and we are coveting clothing that can take us seamlessly from morning into night...

To continue reading click here

Monday, 29 September 2014

Insta Inspiration


Back from a wonderful long weekend in Paris, so my daily blog is back!

Here are some of my favourite finds from Instagram last week...

1.  Less is more...  
2.  Clean and minimalist, but still cosy!
3.  Love the black and white prints.    
4.  I'm a sucker for a sparkly light...
5.  All in the details.  The cut out strap on the vest and silver toggles on the trousers make all the difference to this simple outfit.
6.  How we should all approach fashion.  Which designers or brands appeal to your sense of style? (Yes, I've spotted the typo!) 
7.  Another great pic from Bianca Luini.
8.  Love the boots!
9.  Proenza Schouler SS15.  A great combination of textures and finishes. Stunning sandals.  


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Paris: Always A Good Idea!

Image via Pinterest

I'm being whisked away to Paris for a long weekend, so I'll be taking a break from the blog for a couple of days.

The shop will still be open, with the lovely Julia here to help, so do pop in and say hello!

In the meantime, I'll be Tweeting from the City of Light, so why not follow me @Signature_Julie

À bientôt!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Caped Crusader!

                        Sportmax                                                Saint Laurent                                                   Joseph

The cape cropped up on many autumn catwalks, and in many guises, from short velvet 'toppers', to hip skimming styles through to luxury blanket wraps. Smarter and sleeker than the poncho, it's the simplest garment there is!

Here are five reason's why we should all invest in this new season cover up, according to The Times Magazine's Shane Watson...      

1. Capes are a military staple, which suggests that they're in the top one per cent of functional clothing.  Functional and fabulous!

2. It's the cover up you can wear with everything.

3. Sling on a narrow style in a block colour and instantly you have a sleek, clean silhouette.

4. They also work well with the luxe sporty look, atop a sweater and jeans.

5. Never again crush your party frock under a puffa!

Reference: 'Am I too old for...a cape?' - Shane Watston, The Times Magazine.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

How I Styled It...

Past & Precious

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my love of animal print, but putting my personal passions aside, the enduring appeal of this exotic pattern is hard to ignore.

"Leopard print is now a neutral" - Oriole Cullen, curator of textiles & fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The styling of this week's window will, I hope, help to allay the fashion fears of those of you who may still be rather cautious when it comes to the call of the wild! I've toughened up the silk leopard print dress by teaming it with a seamed military style jacket, a theme which I've continued by pairing the two pieces with these lovely black leather boots... 

And if you still need a little convincing...  

"It's an investment, as it simply doesn't date" - Sasha Sarokin, buying manager at Net-a-Porter.

For more styling inspiration click here

Black Military Style Jacket
Karen Millen
Size: 10 / Price: £99.00

Silk Leopard Print Dress
LK Bennett
Size: 10 / Price: £89.50

Black Leather Boots
Size: 6 / Price: £395.00

To register your interest in an item or items click here and we'll keep you updated regarding their availability.

To book a personal style consultation with me, simply pop in and see me at the shop or click here for my contact details.

Reference: 'Where the wild things are' - Lizzie Pook, Stylist magazine

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Burberry Trench Coat Turns 100

Image via Pinterest

This year, Burberry's iconic trench celebrates its centenary. Here are the facts behind the fashion classic, courtesy of Stylist magazine...

Military Service
in 1912, Thomas Burberry designed the Tielocken.  In 1914, the coat was adapted at the request of the British War Office, with epaulettes, gun flaps and D-rings so it could be worn by officers in the trenches.  Hence the name!

Made In Castleford
All Burberry trench coats are made in the company mill in West Yorkshire, with each individual coat taking around three weeks to create.

The collar is the most difficult part of the trench coat to complete, taking craftsmen up to a year to learn.  It requires 11.5 tiny hand-stitches per inch along the length of the collar to ensure the curve sits perfectly on the neck.

Gabardine - a lightweight fabric made from tightly woven twill - invented in 1879 is still used today for the trench.  The signature check lining wasn't added until 1920.

New Looks
Who says a classic has to remain classic?  These metallic leather trench coats featured in Burberry's spring/summer collection in 2013...

Image via Pinterest

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Fashion's Most Powerful Women

Vanessa Friedman, Sara Blakely, Pat McGrath
              Vanessa Friedman                                             Sara Blakely                                               Pat McGrath

Stylecaster.com's list of the most powerful women in fashion is a fascinating look at the diversity of talent that's shaping the industry today.

Their top fifty features retail executives, entrepreneurs and media titans, as well as women overseeing billion dollar empires and those with a social media following in the millions. 

Although the list contains many household names, including Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet and Editor in Chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour, I've chosen to highlight three women who you may not be so familiar with...

Vanessa Friedman - Fashion Director & Chief Fashion Critic, The New York Times

Formerly of the Financial Times, Vanessa Friedman is revered for her direct and pragmatic approach to discussing fashion, and her critiques always make for a fascinating read.

Sara Blakely - Founder & CEO, Spanx

Since launching Spanx in 2000, Sara Blakely has become the world's youngest self-made billionaire, according to Forbes. Her undergarments have changed the way women wear their clothes.

Pat McGrath - Make up Artist

Despite not having any formal training, Pat McGrath has worked with everyone from Jil Sander to Prada to John Galliano, to craft runway beauty looks. In 1999 Giorgio Armani called on her to design his beauty line, and in 2004 Proctor and Gamble named her the Creative Design Director for its cosmetics lines, including Cover Girl and Max Factor. 

To see the full list of 50 click here

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Chanel: Ten Fascinating Facts

Chanel: Ten Fascinating Facts
Image via Pinterest

Founded in 1909, CHANEL is best known for launching the little black dress and its ever-popular No. 5 perfume. But there's much more to this fashion powerhouse. 

Here's a little insight into the fascinating world of CHANEL, courtesy of ldnfashion.com...

1. The first CHANEL retail store opened in Paris in 1910, selling just hats.

2. The company's mission statement is "To be the ultimate House of Luxury, defining style and creating desire, now and forever."

3. CHANEL is listed No. 74 in Forbes Magazine’s list of the most powerful brands, and has an estimated value of $7 billion.

4. The first sportswear collection by CHANEL was launched in 1913. Constructed from jersey, it was designed for women undertaking physical factory jobs as their husbands were away fighting in World War One.

5. The Iconic CHANEL No.5 fragrance was created after a fortuneteller told Coco that her lucky number was 5. It was first released on the 5th May (the 5th month) in 1921. The perfume we know and love today was the 5th sample delivered to Coco and her favourite. 

6. The sought-after quilted CHANEL handbag was designed in February 1955, giving it its name 2.55. The chain of the bag was inspired by the keychain of the guards in the orphanage where Coco grew up.

7. The CHANEL brand is instantly recognisable by its interlocked double-C logo. This design, created in 1925, is obviously symbolic of the two Cs in Coco Chanel’s name, but was also inspired by the design of stained glass windows at the Chapel of Aubazine that housed the orphanage where she grew up.

8. CHANEL’s Autumn 2014 collection fashion show took place in a specially-created CHANEL supermarket, complete with aisles of CHANEL-branded foodstuffs and household supplies, employees and shopping carts.

9. Despite giving the brand its name and being the designer behind many of the iconic products, Coco Chanel never fully owned the fashion house. She started with a mere 10% share of the company and the brand is today owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer.

10. CHANEL’s jewellery collection is one of the most exclusive and expensive in the world, but in the 1920s it was one of the first brands to popularise "costume" jewellery, mixing fake and real stones.

To read the article in full click here

Friday, 19 September 2014

Insta Inspiration


More of my favourite weekly finds from Instagram...

1.  A question I often ask myself.
2.  Shimmer for day time?  Oh yes!
3.  Love these simple sketches.
4.  Bianca Luini takes fashion pictures and pairs them with related shots.  Inspired! Visit her blog here.
5.  Why indeed?
6.  I wonder where this cobbled street leads...
7.  Sunday mornings.
8.  If only I could wear a fringe this short...
9.  A super retail space.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Skirting The Issue

                      Peter Pilotto                                                 The Row                                                      Erdem

Here are the new skirt shapes to seek out this season, according to the Sunday Times Style magazine....

Modern (Peter Pilotto)
This is the sexiest new skirt shape.  The 'split wrap' is perfect for flashing those pins!  Style with a soft, chunky knit.

Retro (The Row)
Square up to the circle skirt and wear this 'full midi' with socks and flats for a fresh take on a classic style.

Chic (Erdem)
The 'new tulip'. Keep it neat and pair with a simple piece of cashmere.  

Which one will make it into your wardrobe?   

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Kate Lanphear: Style Secrets

Kate Lanphear Street Style
Images via Pinterest

Former women's style director of T, the New York Times' style magazine, Kate Lanphear has just been appointed the next editor-in-chief of men's magazine Maxim. One of my style icons, she has also drawn a global following for her distinctive rock-inspired look.

Here are the secrets behind her incomparable style, courtesy of T magazine...

Above all, be yourself...
"Style is about evolving your own uniform that reflects who you are and how you feel most comfortable. For me that's often jeans and a T-shirt. I’ve always been into rock music and something kind of sexy and black."

...but don’t be afraid to try the trends.
"You know you’ve seen something good at a fashion show when it makes you reconsider how you want to get dressed in the morning. There are plenty of times when you want to test drive a trend to see if it's going to become part of the uniform."

Meaningful extras make your look your own.
"I wear a lot of jewelry, but it all has meaning — a bracelet given by a dear friend, something that I picked up in a market overseas. It's like wearing memories. The Guns 'n' Roses T-shirts I wear are the ones I was wearing as a teenager."

A good coat goes a long way.
"It was a great season for coats, and I splurged on a Calvin Klein coat, look seven from the fall/winter show, because a coat is something you wear every day. It's cozy, fuzzy wool and single breasted, and of course it's black."

When it comes to footwear, go to extremes.
"It's either sky-high or Chucks."

To read the article in full click here

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

How I Styled It...

How I Styled It...
Past & Precious

While I long for the arrival of autumn, many of my clients and customers bemoan the fact that it heralds the gradual disappearance of colour from their wardrobes as we head closer to winter.  But investing in a few key, colourful accessories is a simple and stylish solution for seeing you through to next spring.   

The tan leather dress and suede boots in this week's window not only benefit from the pop of colour provided by the beautiful red bag, but their neutral backdrop is the ideal foil for showing off the Ferragamo perfectly!

And don't forget, accessories are also a great way to 'test the waters' if you're thinking of introducing more colour into your wardrobe too!  

Leather Dress
Humanoid (New with Tags)
Size: Size 8-10 / Price: £115.00 (Cost New £215.00)

Suede Boots
Humanoid (Brand New/Boxed)
Size: 8 / Price: £200.00 (Cost New £310.00)

Red Bag
Salvatore Ferragamo (Boxed/Unworn)

To register your interest in an item or items simply click here and we'll keep you updated regarding their availability.

To book a personal style consultation with me, simply pop in and see me at the shop or click here for my contact details.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Fashion Week: A Private Or Public Affair?

Fashion Week: A Private or Public Affair? Julie Hurst
Image via Pinterest

Here's my latest piece for the Huffington Post...

It's September, which in the world of high fashion heralds the start of spring!  Yes, it's that time of the year when the industry's great and good embark on their whirlwind tour of the four fashion capitals, to witness first hand what designers have in store for us next season. 

But there have been increasing calls from ardent fashion fans to open these 'trade shows' to the public, and as part of i-D magazine's #IDFashionMonth, the case for and against this plea has been debated online. 

Firmly in the yes camp is writer Mallory Rice, who argues, "…being an event at which professionals need to get actual work done is not a good reason to keep the public out of it".  After all, he goes on to say, live concerts are not just for rock critics. He believes that great clothing is art, and as such, access shouldn't be restricted to the privileged few.

The case against, put by Anders Christian Madsen, i-D's Fashion Features Editor, seems rather less succinct.  He believes that making fashion week public would destroy its raison d’être, going on to say that if the 'precious moment' that's created between designer and reporter or designer and buyer when witnessing a show first hand is lost, then ultimately, we will all lose.  Why?  Because without expert industry opinion, individual fashion shows would lose meaning.  This to me seems more of a case for maintaining the role of the press...

To continue reading click here     

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Fashion By Numbers


London Fashion Week (LFW) is now in full swing!  Here's Ami Sedghi's numerical guide to this season's event...

82 Designers
There are 82 designers showing on the LFW schedule. But another 170 UK and international emerging and established, ready-to-wear and accessory designers will be taking part in the designer showrooms, where collections are exhibited to press and buyers.

58 Catwalk Shows
During LFW, a total of 58 catwalk shows will take place at venues across London. With an average duration of 10 minutes, that means watching the shows back to back would take nine hours and 40 minutes!

57+ Models  
The number of long-limbed beauties who will be taking to the catwalks. 

30,000 Espressos
Each LFW, 200kg of coffee beans and 30,000 espressos are served by sponsor Lavazza. That’s a lot of caffeine!

5,000+ Visitors
More than 5,000 visitors are expected, which includes buyers, TV and radio crews, journalists and photographers from countries across the world.

At the opening of LFW last year, it was announced that the direct value of the UK fashion industry to the UK economy is £26bn, up from £21bn in 2009. It is estimated that orders worth more than £100m are placed during LFW each season.

5,376 Bags of Popcorn
More than 5,300 bags of popcorn are munched at LFW, according to the British Fashion Council (BFC) press office.

78% of Guests
The BFC found that 78% of guests looking to attend LFW said that they planned to tweet during the event. At the AW14 show in February, there were more than 300,000 mentions of #LFW on Twitter over the five days, and nearly 100,000 images tagged with #LFW on Instagram.

To read Ami's article for The Guardian in full click here

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Fashion Law Of Balance

Image via Pinterest

How to make sure you're striking the right balance in the style stakes? In her article for Vogue Australia, Nikolina Skoric shows us how...

Showing Skin

Keep it elegant by balancing crops with longer pieces beneath, whether this be high waisted pants or long coats. The same goes for seductive thigh high slit skirts; wear them with high necks and longs sleeves to make for a stylish combination.


The best thing to brighten a dull outfit is a killer accessory; opt for another piece that follows the same colour scheme to incorporate it through your entire look.

Tonal Dressing

Master the balance of colour with tonal dressing; if you have a great pair of printed pants choose the most bold colour and add a block of this colour to your outfit. If unsure, layering tones of one shade to look stylish, refined and pulled together.

To read Nikolina's article in full click here

Friday, 12 September 2014

Insta Inspiration


This week's inspiration courtesy of Instagram...

1. This post is no doubt all about the nails, but it's the models beautiful skin that caught my eye.

2. Debbie Harry.  Enough said!

3. The white shirt.  Where would our wardrobes be without it? 

4. Karl Lagerfeld and his mimi me!

5. Amazing architecture.

6. The only way to wear florals.  Toughened up with leather.

7. Leather, lace and a sliver of silver.  Perfect!

8 & 9.  More of Jeanette Getrost's wonderful work.   


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Texture Trip

Images via Pinterest

Autumn to me means jackets and layering, and time to pull out my fluffy faux fur!

The perfect 'dress up/dress down' piece, as the Sunday Times Style magazine says..."It works with a long, lean gown, with tight jeans and high heels...and is a superglam alternative to the grungy parka".

And look what's just arrived in store...

Caroline Charles

Size: 14 / Price: £195.00

To register your interest in this item simply click here and we'll keep you updated regarding its availability.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Brand New Bag

If you're looking for a new bag this season, then look no further!

We've a great selection of carryalls here in store, including these super styles... 

Mulberry Black Leather 'Tillie' SOLD!
£450.00 (Cost New £795.00)

Salvatore Ferragamo Navy & Red with Chain Strap
£150.00 each

Coach Caramel Leather 'Borough'
£325.00 (Cost New £575.00)

Alexander McQueen Black Leather 'Heroine Tote'
£795.00 (Cost New £1,395.00)

To register your interest in an item or items simply click here and we'll keep you updated regarding their availability.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

How I Styled It...

Past & Precious

I love an excuse, as if I need one, to style a black and white window. The colours create the highest contrast, and therefore, as well as being a personal favourite of mine, they always catch the eye of passers-by too. 

I've mixed styles and textures this week to create different looks within the monochrome theme.  So there's something pretty, set against a more sleek, sophisticated look and then a touch of daring with the addition of the dramatic leather skirt.

And pairing the wrap dress with the dogtooth check shoes has turned a rather plain outfit into something a little more playful, a simple styling trick that's often forgotten.  

White Top with Black Beaded Collar
Karen Millen
Size: 6 / Price: £42.90

Black Leather Skirt
Size: 8 / Price: £55.00

Black Wrap Dress
Diane Von Furstenberg
Size: 10 / Price: £155.00

Black Dress with White Trim & Butterfly Motifs
Size: 12 / Price: £85.00

Black & White Shoes
Size: 6 / Price: £49.50 (New/Unworn) 

To register your interest in an item or items simply click here and we'll keep you updated regarding their availability.

To book a personal style consultation with me, simply pop in and see me at the shop or click here for my contact details.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Not So Fast Fashion

Image via Pinterest

I've just been published by the Huffington Post! Here's an extract from my first article...

"There's something morally wrong with having a swimsuit or a dress that costs the same as a cappuccino", said respected fashion critic, and now Vogue International Editor, Suzy Menkes, when quizzed about her views on 'fast fashion'. This high turnover low cost business model, practised by the likes of H&M and Zara, treats us to new stock at super low prices every week. But at what cost?

While I'm firmly in favour of affordable fashion (where would we all be without the great British high street?), I'm not so comfortable with the way the price of 'fast fashion' has changed the way many of us now think about our clothes. According to Lucy Segal, writing recently in The Observer, "A piece of fast fashion will last five weeks in the average wardrobe". Do we really care that little about what we wear?

As a stylist and owner of a designer resale boutique, mixing high end and high street labels with some well-chosen second hand finds, is what fashion means to me. I treasure every piece in my wardrobe, regardless of how much it originally cost, and regularly get things restyled or repaired rather than get rid of them...

To continue reading click here

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Playing With Plaid

Image via Pinterest

Want to get more mileage out of that checked shirt?  Here's some top styling tips courtesy of The Telegraph online, and a few of fashion's famous faces...

Around Your Hips

Cara Delevigne

An instant affordable way to update your outfit.

Against Contrasting Patterns 

Olivia Palermo

Knot a checked shirt over a striped base layer for a contrasting effect.

As A Base Layer

Kate Moss

Forget plain cardigans, a checked shirt not only makes a warm under layer, it adds a point of patterned interest to your look.

To read the article in full click here