I've not worn dungarees since Dexy's sang "Come on Eileen" but after wearing my denim jumpsuit bought from mango last summer, almost non stop since, I am very tempted to try the dungaree trend for a second time. I know the saying goes, if you wore it the first time around, don't do it again, but I'm loving some of the images on Pinterest of the more grown up, dressed up dungaree.
The last two images show how the trend can be made to look slightly more luxe with the addition of a feminine lace shirt or worn in a softer fabric such as soft baby cord or velvet.
Its not escaped any of our attention that we are having a love affair with house plants again. What started as small cacti and succulents is now making way to great big 70's style house plants and hanging macrame baskets spilling with spider plants and trailing greenery, not seen since the 1970's!
Etsy have macrame baskets for sale made by some clever people but if you fancy having a go yourself Anthropologie in Guildford are running a workshop this Saturday 18/4/15 with interior stylist and author Emily Henson. By the way check out Emily's inspirational blog Life Unstyled.
This week I'm just about to start styling the A/W 15 trend led, press shots for a large online retailer. The trend they are calling Cool Wool is a continuation of one we have seen for the past few seasons, lots of chunky knits and textural yarns, but one we still want to surround and cocoon ourselves in come the winter months.
A fascinating blog that I subscribe to and recommend to anybody interested in the science of trend forecasting is Eclectic Trends written by Barcelona based Gudy Herder. For anybody on Instagram Gudy also has a lovely IG feed and runs a weekly competition #itsamoodyday that showcases some beautiful dark and moody shots from IG users, anyway I digress.
Eclectic Trends calls this trend Handsome Heirloom and there is a brilliant video to accompany it which really focuses on textures, which as well as wool, combine, jute, natural fibres, leather and hand crafted materials such as clay and pottery.
Take a look and let me know what you think. Is it a trend you think you'll be buying into?
While we were in Berlin a few weeks ago, we visited the Mario Testino exhibition "In Your face" which is the first time this body of work has exhibited in Europe.
The exhibition shows a range of Testino's images from commissioned work, many will recognise from magazines such as vogue, to other unseen work from the photographers private collection to more provocative pieces.
The most fascinating part of the exhibition for me was seeing the work in such large format and viewing, up close, just how fabulous and flawless some of our best known celebrities really are. Kate Moss features many times throughout the exhibition and my favourite portrait of all the prints was one of her taken against a bank of mirrors, showing every angle of her, as well as Testino, captured taking the picture. All though it was undoubtly posed it looks like a private moment between the two friends.As we know Mario Testino was the photographer Kate Moss chose to take her intimate wedding photographs.
There are a few other photography exhibitions I would like to see, which are currently showing in the UK. One is by the celebrated war photographer Lee Miller which focuses on womens fashion during the 2nd world war. Fashion on The Ration is showing at the Imperial War Museum London. Lee Miller was an exceptional photographer and she constantly managed to capture intimate and insightful moments during her work throughout the war,work that had rarely been done by a woman photographer before. Her life was almost more interesting than anything she could photograph though, which makes so fascinating. She started her career as a Vogue model, then became the muse for surrealist artist Man Ray before becoming a surrealist photographer herself and then finally becoming a US war correspondent, famously becoming the first person to reach Hitlers hide out in Berchtesgaden. There is the photograph of her sitting in Hitlers bath tub which many are familiar with.
"Only in England" currently exhibiting at The Walker Gallery Liverpool, features the work of Tony Ray Jones & Martin Parr and captures ordinary folk indulging in traditional English customs. Many of the images reflect on the humorous yet melancholy pursuits of past times, such as beauty pageants and British Seaside holidays and were taken from 1970 onwards. Sadly Tony Ray Jones died at the age of 31 but this exhibition reflects on his talent and documentary style photography which has inspired so many other photographers since.
We've recently been for a few days to Berlin, our first trip there since 1991, just after the wall toppled, and wow what changes there have been! Also buoyed up by the fact that somebody has just messaged me on Instagram, to tell me that they are in Paris and visiting a bar that I blogged about, on my recommendation, I thought I'd post a short blog about our mini break, in the hope that it might be interesting & useful to somebody else!
The city has always been vibrant and exciting and a magnet to creative types and that is still very much the way it remains. Although many of the areas have been gentrified since our last visit, such as AlexanderPlatz and Potsdamer Platz, there are still lots of areas that remain full of small galleries, independant shops and clubs.
I can highly recommend our lovely small boutique hotel, which was ideally located in SavignyPlatz Charlottenberg and right next to a U Bahn station, for easy access around the city. Its located on one of the oldest squares or Platz in Berlin and surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants so no need to go far out of your way in the evening, its all here.
On our first morning, to get our bearings, we walked along one of the main thoroughfares Kurfurstendamm, which is lined with all the large department stores, cinemas and global High Street names. Not the most exciting part of Berlin but the old heart of the West and a good place to start. Back when we were first there, in the 1990's it was the location for the only department store KADeWe. This still remains but has had a serious revamp and now rivals any high class department store in any major city. The food hall on the upper floor, is well worthy of a visit and the cakes and coffees are amazing.
We then made our way to Schloss Charlottenburg, the palace of Kaiser Wilhelm. The area is rich with Art Nouveau buildings and there is a lovely park next to the palace. Our intention was then to walk along to the Brucke Museum, which houses the collection of paintings formed by the Brucke group of artists from Dresden that later went on to inform Expressionism. It was also the art that inspired David Bowie whilst living in Berlin and with Mr B being a huge Bowie fan, more of which in a later post, influenced our planned visit. Unfortunately, as with all the best laid plans, which often go wrong, this wasn't to be. After stopping for a coffee and checking the opening hours, we learned that the museum was closed until Easter. However from the look of the 1930's modernist building and the collection of art it houses, its certainly worthy of a visit next time.
One of my favourite areas of Berlin that we visited was Hackescher Markt, which is full of independent shops, cool cafe bars and graffiti everywhere, which in Berlin is a major art form and not frowned upon as you you would expect. You can actually take part in an organised graffiti tour and part of this tour involves a visit to Cafe Cinema which has a courtyard full of graffiti. Its also a really cool cafe for a spot of lunch or a drink.
The area is also home to Clarchens Ballhaus which is a dance hall built in 1912, still open every night for live music, food and ballroom dancing. Our hotel barman told us its a really cool atmosphere where people of all ages dress up in feather boas and finery and dance the night away together.
I'm going to break down some of the other things we did into separate blogs as they deserve a special mention but in a nutshell, Berlin is an amazing city with a creative energy which you can feel as you walk around the streets. There are so many different areas and it is so vast that it would take weeks, if not months, to explore properly. The main sights are so historic and really give you a sense of how much this city has changed and evolved over the last 25 years.
As the fashion train rolled into every fashion capital of the world over the past few weeks, the staple bit of kit in every style setters and followers wardrobe seemed to be that perennial favourite, the Breton striped top.
Last year I bought, what I thought, was a one season wonder, a black jumpsuit. How wrong I was, that jumpsuit has been a real investment piece & one of the things I have worn more than most other items currently hanging in my wardrobe. Cost per wear, it was a steal.
The black jumpsuit is quickly turning into a wardrobe staple, maybe its the new LBD? Perfect for wearing to work, shopping or the school run, with skater shoes or a pair of converse, equally perfect for dressing up in the evening with a clutch and a pair of heels.
Image above from SheerLuxe
As I'm off to Berlin next week for a few days and not checking any luggage in on our budget airline flight, for ease of travel as well as principle (don't get me started on budget airline hidden extras!) my versatile black jumpsuit will be joining me for sure.
Here are a few of some of the best, in my humble opinion, of the pick on the High Street.