Transitioning into autumn with Badger

transitional_badgerPlease note that this post is a product review, and the featured dress was provided free of charge by Badger Womenswear.

It’s warm.  It’s chilly.  It’s too hot for a coat but too cold for bare legs.  Welcome to autumn in Britain, a time when transitional pieces come into their own.

Dressing at this time of year is all about judicious layering and wearing those ‘transitional’ pieces: items that see you through, literally, the transition into a new season.

I have been getting a lot of wear out of a Great Plains dress from independent Brighton boutique Badger.  British brand Great Plains specialises in quality basics and easy to wear dresses and knitwear. In Sussex, but haven’t been to Badger yet?  You’re missing out.  Nadia and her team stock a great range of brands including leather jackets from legendary label Matchless, plus Scandi-cool pieces from Ilse Jacobsen, Becksondergaard and Numph.  Add tights from Falke (definitely one of my go-to brands) and funky jewellery from Hultquist, and your look, transitional or otherwise, is pretty much sorted.

This dress is a great easy-to-wear piece – and the essence of ‘transitional’.  It has long sleeves, so it’s warm, but it’s also tunic shaped so can be worn bare-legged with heels now (as I did last week in London) –

transitional_tube

Or with leggings and brogues, as I did today –

transitional_brogues

And later, when the temperature starts to bite, tights and ankle or knee high boots.  And it’s monochrome (regular readers will know that I rarely deviate from my fave black and white…) Best of all, it’s an incredibly forgiving shape if you’re having an ‘off’ day.  It’s not bulky either, so my trusty All Saints biker can be worn easily over the top…

transitional_bikerOther things to know:

  • it’s machine washable (yay!) on cold (max 30 degrees)
  • it’s a polyester / cotton mix (68% / 32%)
  • iron on the reverse only (not that it needs it)

transitional_pocket

Go and discover this and other great pieces at Badger – you won’t be disappointed. And if the man in your life is in need of something new, menswear is next door !

Badger is at 25-26 Bond Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1RD

01273 325421 (Womenswear)

 

 

 

 

Guest blog: top tips for great holiday photos

This week, Susi Doherty, Creative Director of Vervate shares her top tips for taking and making the most of your holiday photos.  Thanks Susi !

Capturing in pictures those long-awaited days of great scenery, family, friends, amazing sites or simply just restful moments is something we all love to do – and many of us with do it with our mobile phones.  Here are my top tips for taking better photographs on your mobiles here.

There are other things that you can do that will really bring your images to life and keep those memories lingering for longer – here are just a few:

The journey

Holiday photos_AlpsLove it (or not), travelling is an amazing thing to be able to do.  These days your mobile’s GPS (and some cameras) will tag your location if you have put it on.  I really enjoy this aspect from an aeroplane – here’s a quick picture I snapped when we we travelling over the Alps recently.

 

A little thought

Holiday photos_thinkIt’s easy just to pick up our mobiles and click at something.  Each image is disposable and doesn’t cost us anything, unlike in the days of film (not that I remember of course – ahem) when a finger in front of the lens cost us one of the precious 24 pictures on the film roll (and a disappointed face when the photos came back from Prontoprint).  Here’s what can happen if you don’t think about it (see photo to the left)…

 

Holiday photos_pompeii..and here is a picture I thought more about.  It was taken at Pompeii, right at the edge of the excavation.  There were poppies and corn swaying in the wind over the unexcavated ruins:

Think about what it is you want to say in the photograph.  Don’t play down your experience by not trying to get in the moment. What is it you want to remember?  A feeling?  Remember that there is a reason you are inspired to take a photo of something or someone.  Get that inspiration in the photo and you will remember it far more intensely.  The photo above makes me feel the warm breeze, peace and melancholy for the once beautiful city that I felt when I was actually there.

Angles

Holiday photos_statuesDon’t follow the pack!  All the other tourists were taking photos of these stunning statues at Pompeii straight on.  Boof, here’s a statue.  Next…?  The artist had created the most amazing statues.  They were awe inspiring because of their size and the way they loomed over the ruins.  That’s why in this image I went for the ‘up’ angle so that you get a sense of their scale.

 

The incidentals

So many of us just take selfies or posed shots.  Get sneaky and capture the wistful smile on your partner’s face as they look at a view, or something funny happening, or even a sign or close up of the sea (unless you are in England, in which case that tends to give you a brown blob!).

Edit!

Take the time to edit a copy of your favourite photos with an app – there are so many to choose from but they do make a huge difference.  Enjoy your holiday, but don’t spend so much time looking at your screen that you don’t actually get a sense or feel for where you are!  The best photos come from those sensations.

At Vervate, we seek to work with all our clients to enable them to build their own visual portfolio. Have a chat with Susi, to see how we help you create your own bank of quality images.

Lagerfeld: age, experience, excellence

Age and experience are often overlooked in our youth-obsessed world.  This month, legendary fashion titan Karl Lagerfeld will be presented, at the age of 82, with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Fashion Awards in recognition of his ‘unrivalled contribution to the fashion industry’.  And it truly is unrivalled.

Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg in 1933 and educated privately and in Paris.  His career began when he was hired to assist Pierre Balmain, after winning a design competition in 1955.  In 1958, he moved to Jean Patou, designing two collections a year for the next five years, and began freelancing at Chloe in 1964.  Since 1983 he has, of course, been creative director at Chanel, although his career has been multifacted.  Lagerfeld has worked as a photographer (V, German Vogue, Harpers Bazaar), theatrical costume designer, publisher and art director.  At the age of 82, he shows no sign of slowing down (why should he) and he still designs for Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous label.  He is a living example of how age and experience can amount to great things.

Natalie Massenet MBE, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, commented on the award by saying, ‘Karl Lagerfeld defines outstanding.  He is the champion of excellence, the master of the exceptional and one of the most iconic figures globally from our industry.’

Previous winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award include: Anna Wintour OBE (2014), Terry and Tricia Jones (2013) and Manolo Blahnik CBE (2012).

 

Are you ready for autumn?

September is looming. That ‘new school year feeling’ is in the air.  The weather is already cooler.  It’s time to start thinking seriously about your autumn/winter wardrobe.

Planning your key purchases now (new boots, a coat ?) will stand you in good stead, as will determining what gaps need filling in your existing wardrobe.  You don’t need to go mad – if you’ve got the basics right, a couple of carefully-chosen additional pieces will ensure you make a stylish transition into autumn.

I am particularly excited about:

  • the continuing dominance of the coat: there are some fantastic shapes out there. I am coveting a beautiful Joseph grey double cashmere belted coat at the moment…
  • burgundy/claret is the colour of the season: great for those of you who may be bored of wearing black, brown or navy. Burgundy is soft and forgiving for most skin tones and looks fantastic with grey, camel and black
  • cropped trousers and culottes: these may scare some of you, but I think they look sharp and very modern. The new cropped trousers with a turn up look great worn with a tucked-in blouse and heels for the office, or luxe jersey basics and trainers at the weekend.  (Atterley have a great claret pair – two trends ticked at once…).  Keep your top-half sleek when wearing culottes, and always wear heels if you’re petite. They look great with block heels and a slim biker jacket
  • wide-legged trousers: channel your inner Katharine Hepburn and wear with minimal trainers for a modern twist

I’d be delighted to help you prepare for the new season.  Drop me an email…

 

 

 

What is ‘normcore’?

One of the newest (and ugliest) words making the rounds in fashion circles over the past couple of years is ‘normcore’. What is it? Wikipedia defines it as: ‘a unisex fashion trend characterised by unpretentious, average-looking clothing. “Normcore” is a portmanteau of the words “normal” and “hardcore”.’

IMG_1189It’s come about for a number of reasons: a backlash against constantly changing trends, a rejection of blingy and ubiquitous logos and a desire to look chic and stylish without having to shout about it.

Some think the normcore ‘uniform’ of ‘plain’ (albeit high end) white shirts, cashmere jumpers in neutral tones, dark skinny jeans and leather trainers is boring and the opposite of individual and unique. I disagree – I prefer to see people (especially those of us of a certain age) with a more understated look. It’s then easy to add colour and personality through accessories (and it’s cheaper too). IMG_1182

Luxe-Layers founder Flavia says it best: ‘Most of us with jobs in fashion are indeed very much ‘normcorers’, because better than anyone, we understand the difference between fashion trends and true style.’ Precisely. Check out Flavia’s ‘normcore commandments’ here.

IMG_1209As I frequently say to clients, style is timeless, not trendy. It should be individual (think Iris Apfel), reflect your personality and be appropriate for your age and lifestyle.