You know how #OBSESSED I was with Mulberry’s gorgeous minty green Willow tote? Well now that crafty so-and-so, Emma Hill has gone and released another perhaps even more delectable array of styles for AW13. I know right, it’s really just plain mean.
Given that the Mulberry Willow is possibly one of my favourite bag families ever, should I have a sudden windfall it would be the first, but definitely not the last, purchase I’d make and I’d be pretty hard pushed to choose which one to treat myself to. After careful deliberation (when I probably should have been working on my thesis instead, oops) I decided that the divine emerald and covetable cobalt numbers tie at top spot… Now all I need to do it win the lottery.
Love Ella. X
As you may remember, back in December during the SS13 press day season I had something of a revelation. Namely, that I bloody love Matthew Williamson. I don’t know how or why it took me so long to realise my affinity with a designer who specialises in bright colours, punchy prints and exquisite embellishment (AKA my sartorial cryptonite) but hey, at least we got there in the end. My MW obsession was rekindled a couple of weeks ago when I paid a visit to his Mount Street boutique to check out the AW13 collection. Still sporting my navy winter coat, it was a thrill to enter the gloriously colourful, carefree world of Matthew Williamson… Minimalists, you’ve been warned.
I hadn’t even had time to greet Matthew’s PRs before I spotted what might just be one of my favourite dresses, ever. Long sleeves, short skirt, skater shape in mint green velvet jacquard complete with shimmering trim and beaded neckline… In other words, my idea of heaven. Throughout my visit my eye did keep returning to this particular frock but that certainly didn’t stop me admiring the others. Understated Matthew Williamson most certainly isn’t but he is a true master of doing glitz and glamour without verging into tacky territory. The collection was an oh-so-stylish riot of eye-popping hues, opulent embroidery and shimmering sequins; a delectable fusion of high fashion fabulousness and carefree party girl cool.
However you feel about rainbow shades and sparkly things, Matthew Williamson’s skill and painstaking attention to detail is undeniable. Each intricate piece of beadwork and hand stitched bloom reflects a designer truly passionate about his work and not afraid to put in some seriously hard graft. And as for that sweet minty number, I’m already saving my pennies.
Love Ella. X
Every season I’m always in two minds over whether or not to post about press days. On the one hand, there are HUNDREDS of the damn things and it’s hard to play favourites when most of the collections are so excellent. Plus, should you want to see what’s hot next season you could just check Style.com. Then again catwalk snaps, no matter how good don’t show quite the same detail as my (admittedly far less professional) close ups and after getting up close and personal with the couture worthy offerings of Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen it just seems wrong not to share the experience.
At the moment, fashion is full of inspiring female role models. These powerhouse wonder women manage to have kids, run global businesses, look great and still somehow have the energy left to design killer collections. I think it’s safe to say that Sarah Burton falls firmly under this category. Taking over from a designer internationally renowned for being one of the most visionary talents of our time must have been unbelievably daunting. Many people, myself included, questioned whether anyone would be able to do justice to the legacy of Lee Alexander McQueen but three years, one Royal wedding dress and an Order of the British Empire later little doubt remains that Burton is more than capable of it.
As you’ve probably gathered from the fact that my posts often pass the 1000 word mark, I’m not often rendered speechless. Well the sheer beauty of the Alexander McQueen AW13 collection very nearly managed it. The sculptural gowns, pearl encrusted shoes and regal headdresses certainly weren’t ready-to-wear in the traditional sense of the word. Indeed Burton’s latest creations had an air of high drama and exquisite extravagance about them that would have made her successor proud. But while even the most fabulous of fashion mavens would be hard pushed to carry off a bejewelled collared down the pub, the intricate, impractical almost non-sensical beauty of this collection is precisely what I love so much about it. With Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham delivering flawless everyday luxury, I think it’s both interesting and encouraging to see their fellow female British Fashion Designer of the Year winner doing the polar opposite and doing it so darn well. In some ways I can’t help but feel that this kind of awe-inspiring, artistic expression is what high fashion is really all about.
Love Ella. X
Ps) Sarah was pregnant with TWINS while designing this collection… I know!
Oh how I adore Anya Hindmarch. As a handbag addict who takes her fashion with a side of fun it stands to reason that Anya’s playful yet undeniably luxe accessories collections captivate me. I’m pretty sure I said this last season, and possible the season before, but I really do think that the designer’s AW13 offerings are my absolute favourite yet. Remember my post on her “Cascade” show during London Fashion Week? If you fancy a reminder then click here or just trust me when I say it was A-MAZING. Given that the spectacle involved 50,000 dominoes, animatronics and large amounts of over excitement, I didn’t actually see much of the bags themselves that morning so couldn’t wait to have a proper look at Anya’s press day.
Anya certainly knows how to put on a show and unsurprisingly she and her lovely team are equally adept at holding press days. Upon arrival at the Bond Street showroom I was welcomed in from the rain with hugs, fresh coffee and a table laid with delicacies. As I was walked through to the first space I was thrilled to discover that it had been decked out with fabulous props from the show and a replica of Anya’s own studio complete with coffee mug, sketches and samples. Not that I looked at them for long as my attention was soon solely devoted to the handbags. Anya Hindmarch’s classic styles and last season’s sell out Maxi Zip Satchel had been re-worked in delectable autumnal shades of emerald, cobalt and burgundy. AW13 has also seen the introduction of a very sophisticated new bag called the Albion which looked particularly slick in super luxe python skin.
It seems to me that Anya Hindmarch has both a childlike and unlimited imagination. Couple that with technical talent, business savvy and a truly tireless work ethic and it’s no wonder the woman’s well on her way to owning a global accessories empire. The “Cascade” collection was a perfect example of why Anya’s designs are so successful. Besides elegant everyday bags and neat matching travel sets she also delivered a delectable array of fanciful fare inspired by retro board games.
Between the domino clutches and eye-boggling multi coloured totes, I couldn’t physically pick a favourite. I left the showroom with a spring in my still-rain-sodden step and the entire collection on my wish list.
Love Ella. X
Anyone who follows me on twitter, Instagram or Urturn (new social media platform, it’s a goodie) will no doubt have realised by now that the AW13 press days are in full swing. Either that, or they’ll be very confused by the vast number of bags, shoes and other previously unseen sartorial goodies popping up on my social feeds. Like fashion month, press day season is a time that elicits a heady combination of excitement and dread among the fashion and beauty community. Don’t get me wrong, mincing around town looking at lovely things and catching up with your favourite industry faces is always an enjoyable was to spend an afternoon. However with up to 34 (yes really) collection previews held in various locations around London on any given day the whole thing can get slightly stressful, not to mention absolutely exhausting. As with fashion week, it’s impossible to go to everything. But one press day I’d be damned if I missed was that of Victoria Beckham.
I’ve said it more than once before so I apologise for repeating myself yet again, Victoria Beckham is fantastic. Like the rest of the fashion world, I’ve long since forgotten any initial reservations I had about her’s being another “meh” celeb fashion line but it wasn’t until seeing them up close that I realised the true excellence of Mrs Beckham’s designs. Impressed though I’ve always been by Victoria Beckham’s work, some of the price tags made my mind boggle. After spending the best part of an hour pouring over every immaculate cut, luxurious fabric and exquisite detail in her AW13 offerings those five figure frocks suddenly seem like a bargain. I was lucky enough to see Victoria’s presentation of her latest Victoria, Victoria Beckham collection during New York Fashion Week this season (click here to a reminder) and the perfect fusion of girlish insouciance and effortless androgyny took my breath away. In the flesh, or rather the finest quality felt, the super chic shift dresses and separates I ogled on the VVB catwalk were even more captivating. Meticulous in their simplicity with subtle pocket detailing and razor sharp hems in a palette of subtle greys, monochrome shades and rich autumnal hues, each garment was a feat of both sartorial and technical brilliance. Modern shapes and heritage fabrics can go one way or the other but in Victoria’s capable hands, they were a recipe for unbridled covetable-ness (word?). One luscious plum number pretty much had to be prized from my grasp and I could barely contain my excitement over those crisp collars!
As for the accessories, well, how can I describe them other than “perfection”? Elegant and fuss free in simple shapes and both understated and colour-popping hues, they are the epitome of modern classics. The denim and resort collections were also big hits with me (no doubt due to my obsession collars and prints) so I was very happy indeed to hear they would have a more accessible price point. Quite how “accessible” those prices will be remains to be seen but I suspect I’d better get saving.
Love Ella. X