Archive for August, 2014

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Cold Weather Comforts – (The Perfect Winter Coat)

Our Fashion Editor Emma helps you choose your winter coat…

“It happened last week; that slight shift in air temperature, which signalled the end of our brief fling with summer. I don’t know about you but I am ready for it. Perhaps it has to do with a desperate yearning for a term time schedule after weeks of happy-go-lucky play. Perhaps it is a desire for a hearty stew after a brisk cool Sunday walk instead of BBQ on a sticky afternoon or maybe, just maybe it is the beginning of the annual search for the perfect cold weather coat.

Usually my search begins in August but I can never bring myself to commit until the weather shifts. Then autumn becomes the equivalent of a childhood Easter egg hunt except the treasure is a warm knit or a perfectly cut coat in an unexpected colour. Pink was the clear winner in AW13 with every fashion maven worth her salt sporting a cool bubblegum shade, this autumn however, the mood has altered (fashion can be such a fickle mistress) and pinks are taking on a duskier hue being more reminiscent of a fading rose. How appropriate for summer’s swan song! Enter Maison Scotch’s boucle pink tailored coat .

10863-17-FNTI love the strong lapel and single button while the black angled slit pockets add drama and direction to this otherwise extremely feminine coat. If pink really isn’t your thing you’ll be pleased to hear it’s also available in speckled grey.

Coats are supposed to be worn oversized for AW14; this does not mean that they should not fit correctly however. Do not be tempted to buy a fitted coat in a size too large. What you are looking for is a coat that has a good fit on the shoulders but then frames your figure rather than hugging it. This shape is being repeated in long cardigans too, it is a distinct nod to the duster coats of old.

Parisian brand, Des Petits Hauts have nailed this look effortlessly. Their Romain navy coat (15/10/14 – NB this coat is now sold out- sorry!) is at once manly in its enveloping size while also featuring a polka dot lining and bright red buttons. It’s details such as this that elevate a style from potentially frumpy to sartorially beautiful. It’s also worth noting that if you intend to dabble in this season’s maroons, deep reds and rust, pairing them with navy gives a far softer look than black.

No winter wardrobe is fully complete without a humble parka, beloved of off-duty celebrities and school run mums alike. This season Fiona has chosen two very different styles with which to update your day-to-day look. The first is black and technically shorter than a traditional parka with a detachable faux fur hood. The second is actually two jackets in one having a fully detachable inner jacket and hood. It will take you through autumn and winter possibly making it the most hardworking piece in your wardrobe this season. Both are from Maison Scotch.

The last coat I would bring to your attention is from new brand on the block Samsoe & Samsoe. You will no doubt recall the skilfully cut silk blouses from the SS14 collection. Well The Hoff coat delivers on many levels; it flirts with both the feminine and oversized looks while resolutely refusing to be pigeon holed into either. The sublime green-yellow colour alone marks it out as a statement piece for AW14, but this is backed up with a delightfully warm looking funnel collar, sharp tailoring and thinsulate technology.  With all this going for it, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that this one will be a sell out”.

Shop all outerwear.

Hoff coat internet re-sized copy

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The Essential Shirt


Our Fashion Editor Emma, guides you through styling that essential wardrobe piece – the shirt.

“I once heard a woman declare that she never wears shirts. The fact that we remain good friends is testament to her many other outstanding qualities, but to this day I remain baffled as to why she refuses to wear this main stay of functionality and form.

Personally I love a good shirt and I’ve been collecting them for years. I own denim shirts, linen shirts, cotton shirts, silk shirts, chambray shirts and every other kind of inbetween shirts. What I love about them is their versatility. In summer you can tie them at the front and roll the sleeves to ¾ length and push them above the elbow for off duty appeal. In autumn they layer well under lightweight knits, then switch to heavy knits as the cold starts to bite. In spring I like to wear them half tucked in to feel the first warm breeze shoot up my back. It’s a delicious sensation.

Changing the look of a shirt from outfit to outfit is a simple process. One can be prim in the office with the buttons done up all the way and when finished with a statement necklace it will prevent the look becoming too severe. Or show a little va va voom at a casual lunch by unbuttoning the top three buttons and adding a long pendant necklace, you can even half turn up the collar for extra attitude. A longer shirt will look great tied at the front with a maxi skirt and a denim shirt can also double as a light summer jacket when the cuffs are folded just so.

This season Fiona has handpicked the best shirts from brands around the world for Feather & Stitch. I am particularly excited about the arrival of Californian brand Rails LA. Their shirts are being lauded by fashion pundits around the globe from Cara Delevingne to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and have had whole articles written about them in the national press including The Times. What do I think about them? Well, they are impossibly soft, require no ironing, fit like a dream and look equally good worn on their own or layered under knitwear. There are three plaid colour ways to choose from in store now as well as two denim shirts. Plaid is set to become this season’s run-away print and come winter I will be wearing mine layered over a denim shirt and under a sweater. When styling a denim shirt don’t be afraid to mix it with other shades of denim or play with texture, pairing it with something glamorous like the By Malene Birger Pollio sequin skirt will nail the casual party look that’s so popular right now.

Another shirt that has caught my eye is the Swildens Lontana shirt. It is a crisp, medium weight cotton with a little stretch and has a longer more generous length than many other shirts. The contrasting white collar and cuffs give it a considered appeal and it will look fantastic styled with a pencil skirt for the office or jeans for the weekend.

Lastly how could I leave out that most essential wardrobe basic, the classic white shirt? Custommade’s figure flattering white shirt is proof positive that well tailored style is always in demand. The elegant bib draws the eye up and the double turned cuffs add a professional touch. I’d wear this with the By Malene Birger Elenaso leather leggings and Samsoe & Samsoe Kimi monochrome oversized cardi. For more ideas on how to style them, check out our style guide – The Essential Shirt. ”

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

New for Autumn / Winter 2014 – Swildens

Vous connaissez Swildens? Non? Mon Dieu! Well then please allow me to elaborate.

Swildens is a new brand that’s just landed in the boutique for AW14 and it is Faaaaaaaabulous. Juliette Swildens began the Parisian label in 2003 taking influences from the 70s, 80s and 90s while maintaining a fashion forward approach to design. She has continuously created collections that reflect the sartorially elusive look that is classic French style.

The AW14 collection has a distinctive modern vintage feel. There are chunky knits like the Luce jumper made to envelop you on cooler evenings, or layer them over semi-sheer blouses to channel your inner bohemian. The retro sweaters will pair beautifully with relaxed skinny jeans and there’s an impeccably tailored little black dress that can be styled so many ways. My personal favourite is the black leather jacket… oooh la la la la la la la!! Seriously it’s so smokin’ hot it could make smoking cool again. It’s Aaron Eckhart hot.

So if you would like to make like a French woman this autumn and pull off a composed, well tailored look with insouciance, Swildens is definitely a brand to buy into. The collection has started to arrive in store (view it here) …but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the leather jacket – we’ll keep you posted.


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