*Jane Shilton* The Stylish Hampstead Brogue Sling-Back Shoes

Wednesday mornings are when I set a couple of hours aside to sort through and organise my wardrobe and office.  Todays sort has a little extra “umph” entailed, as I am throwing myself in to a slightly premature spring clean. I am a hoarder of clothes, handbags and shoes so how I go about my annual spring cleans has to be very quick and painless. There are four steps I work through.

 Firstly, I lay out five bin bags. Three are for clothes, handbags and shoes, two are for all old newspaper articles, images and clippings I have been hanging on to over the past year hoping they will come in handy for future blog references.

 Secondly, ACTION! This step consists purely of putting all my clothing in two piles at top speed, and saying “yes” or “no”. I put the “no” pile behind me so I cannot look back and think of a reason to keep that embellished mohair jumper…

Step three is simple but sometimes take a little longer than originally expected. This step is dangerous as it involves the participation of girlfriends. My clothes are bagged up and knotted tightly, so that moments of weakness cannot allow peering through the top loops to rethink hasty spring clean throw-out choices. I send a whip-round text to all my girlfriends who live nearby telling them that those Zara jeans they always loved are now up for grabs, along with my vintage swing coat and last years denim jacket. I usually receive about four replies asking me to hold on to the bags and one excited call from Ro telling me she will be at my house in half an hour, but she never comes … and the bags sit in my bedroom… and then moments of weakness arrive… and I tend to end up keeping all the apparel and accessories I had originally planned to throw / give away. Maybe this year step three should be tweaked and all clothes should go straight to Hammersmith’s Oxfam without an emotional second of fashion hesitation.

Step four, this is my favourite step! My good deed deserves a reward. I always reward myself with a new pair of shoes. This years choice is simple, as I can already think what I am going to wear them with so they are an incredibly justifiable purchase. This years spring clean reward is the Jane Shilton, Hampstead Low Heel Brogue Pattern Special Occasion Sling-Back in Dusky Pink. In my mind I visualise this feminine classic to be worn with my printed Zara trousers and a vintage Ann Taylor silk blouse, or a boat-necked shift dress in red or cream, with an oversized clutch.They are easy to wear and look fabulous worn in the day through to the night. I chose these particular shoes because I have had my eye on them for quite a while now. A picture of them is pinned pride of place to my inspiration wall in my office. Brogues are a huge part of my shoe collection, so any new take on a brogue-esque style is normally something that attracts me to shoes. The soft almond shaped toe is a super stylish feature on a court shoe as it is a timeless style that will go with anything and always be in fashion. Patent shoes have always been a favourite of mine. This preference stems back to when I was very young, perhaps two or three. I had a pair of red patent party shoes with a button on the strap at the side. These were only to be worn on special occasions, but I remember staring up and admiring them on the top shelf of my wardrobe from a very small height below. Patent shoes are special shoes. When you put them on you feel happy, stylish and smart. These Jane Shilton beauties are made not just to be beautiful, but they are also designed to be comfortable. Lined with a soft leather cushioning and a specially measured foot friendly stack heel they are terribly easy to wear. Whether you are or aren’t a fan of heels these are insanely user friendly, perhaps even more comfortable than wearing flats. These sling-backs are available in Dusky Pink or Grey. My personal choice is the Dusky Pink as footwear in nude tones is famously fantastic for two reasons. Firstly they go with pretty much every colour ensemble you decide to wear. Whether it’s heavily printed and embellished or simple colour blocking. Secondly nude tones on footwear elongate the appearance of your legs.

*Above.   The gorgeous Jane Shilton Hamsteap Low Heel Brogue Pattern Special Ocassion Sling-Backs.

^Dusky Pink nail polish to complete the look.

*Below.   My gorgeous Zara printed trousers that look great with Hamstead Brogue Sling-Backs.

I truly believe that for all these reasons listed above the Jane Shilton Hampstead Low Heel Brogue Pattern Special Occasion Sling-Back is an absolute wardrobe staple for all women. For more information or to invest today, visit www.janeshilton.co.uk

Louise Gray – Autumn Winter 2012 London Fashion Week.

Yesterday saw Billingsgate filled to the brim with Louise Gray fanatics. As the music started, the collection walked. What instantly struck me was how reserved the designs were, in comparison to Gray’s renowned more is more ideal for her collections. The clothes were feminine in cut with the allowance of heavily printed donkey jackets and heeled wellington boots. Although Gray’s collection was much more conservative than usual, the styling was incredibly 1980s dance floor warrior. Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Harry were huge inspirations for the prints on display. This was incredibly obvious and created a fabulous tribal femininity for the show.

 

Louise Gray has triumphed once again. I strongly disagree with other critics who have called Gray a Shoreditch desinger. To me, she is an inspirational designer who is breaking the mould and making her own fashions from scratch. Her collection reminded me of 1980s Zandra Rhodes and made me miss designing in Zandra’s studio.

Here are my favourite looks from the collection:

Valentines Beauty Treats.

Today is the day thousands of women will be preparing for a day of loving tomorrow. I believe that all ladies are body beautiful in their own individual ways, but just to add a little magic to your Valentines prep, I have listed a few tried and tested products.

 

 

In this listing I am only featuring products that I personally highly recommend. I believe a new beauty/ body product can add an extra special touch to your beauty regime and will perhaps become a personal favourite of yours.

1. The first item on my list is Simple – Kind To Skin – Cleansing Facial Wipes. These are a beauty staple of mine and have been for years. They really care for your skin as well as being incredibly easy to use. I also prefer these facial wipes to others as they contain no alcohol, no oil,  no perfume and no colourings. They now come in a smaller handbag size pack, which is brilliant for using on your way back from a night out or when staying over at your boyfriends house!

2. My second beauty product of choice is the Simple – Kind To Lips – Intensive Lip Moisturiser. This is a sure handbag essential as it is small, light and reliable. At the moment the weather is snowy and the wind is cold. I find my lips get a little dry and always in need of a little hydration. Simple Lip Moisturiser contains Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5 which both restore, smooth and soften skin.

3. The Beauty Parlour -Boob tubes in a box – Get Perky Day! This is a fab product, if only for a little confidence boost. We all know our boys like us just the way we are but this is great for a little confidence boost! It smells great and the packaging is really kitsch, which is always a plus in my book with beauty products! By applying an apricot sized amount to your chest up to your neck after showering really tightens and firms that upper body area. It is a great cream and really does hat it says on the bubble gum pink tube!

4. Jainnisa is a newly favourite body brand of mine. One of my favourite items is the  All Day Soothing Hand Balm. After massaging a ten pence sized amount of this delicious smelling hand cream over the top and bottom areas of your mitts and up to your elbows your skin is instantly baby-bottom soft. The Jainnisa hand balm contains Orange Flower and Shea Butter which absorb really quickly in to the skin and leave it with a healthy glow.

5. Lush is one of my all time favourite brands. Everything from the packaging to the products themselves are always a triumph. For Valentines Day I recommend the Sweetheart Soap and the Soft Coeur Massage Bar. The Sweetheart Soap contains Vanilla, Mandarin and Jasmine which offers a gentle and sweet aroma. When used it produces a luxuriously creamy foam. The Lush Soft Coeur Massage Bar contains Shea Butter, Cocoa Powder and honey. Shea Butter is notorious for it’s fabulous moisturising products, the honey smooths your skin and the Cocoa Powder adds a yummy aroma.

 

 

 

 

Brutus TrimFit shirt for Dr. Martens

Yesterday I caught up with a very old mate of mine, Miss Sarah. She is one special lady and it was lovely spending the day with her swanning around Brick Lane, drinking Margaritas and shopping for our boyfriends. I won’t say what she bought Willis incase he reads this post, but I couldn’t resist giving Eli his Valentines present early as I knew he would love it!

The gift in question was the Brutus TrimFit shirt for Dr. Martens.

Both Brutus and Dr. Martens attract the same Mod/ Skinhead followers and have done since the early 1960s so this collaboration has been a long time coming.

 

 

The shirt is an original pattern taken from the Brutus archive, reworked with the colouring from the classic cherry red 1460 DM boots. What made the shirt extra special was the packaging. It arrived in a brown card envelope printed with a Brutus and Dr. Martens signature.

 

 

For more info check out www.brutus-trimfit.com/dr-martens.

1970s Skinheads and Rude Boys inna London Town.

These days I find myself searching for aspects within contemporary fashion that I respect and admire. Good leather shoes and bags are easy to find if you’ve got the know-how. If you want a nice suit and you don’t have a pocket full of money to burn you might yourself in a spot of treacle. I spend hours scouring Ebay for items that you just can’t buy on the shelves anymore. I like colourful, well fitted suits worn with white tights. Although, I don’t have pipe-cleaners for legs so I don’t wear white tights too often.

So today, instead of hunting down something to feature that is mildly well cut, I’m just going to be honest about what I like. I like clothes with heritage and a scorching soundtrack. Maybe my records aren’t worth much money but I don’t care. For me, it’s about the tracks that are on them that counts. “It’s just the beat I suppose…that’s what they all say.”


Skinheads and Rude Boys London 1970 by LostPirate77