Tuesday 5 August 2014

Warby Parker's Waterway Collection

I've worn glasses since I was a kid.... I once swapped glasses with a 75 year old man, and his weren't as strong as mine.

People ask me why I haven't got contacts, or had laser eye surgery; and among answers such as "I don't quite fancy having a Bond villain's weapon of choice aimed at my face" and "I take issue with regularly poking myself in the eye" is simply this:

Glasses are cool. (and Harry Potter wears them.)

Who better to illustrate this than Warby Parker? - The designer eyewear company who not only specialise in the thick-framed specs with which I have fallen in love, but who also operate with an extremely noble concept at their core. Their 'buy a pair, give a pair' initiative is so far responsible for the distribution of one million pairs of glasses to people in need, all over the world. If that's not cool, what is?

So when the lovely people at Warby Parker asked me to take a peek at their new Waterway Collection - a selection of their classic shapes revamped in new colourways - I was powerless to resist, and decided to pick  my favourite.

The Percey frames in crystal are refreshingly minimal, and represent a modern take on a classic shape. The fact that they're colourless means that they're versatile, and while I don't really wear anything that isn't black, white or grey, I can appreciate that this would be a draw for people who have a more eclectic colour palette. I'd love it if they introduced some of their larger frames in clear too!

If you'd like to check out what else Warby Parker have on offer (and I highly recommend that you do) visit their website. 

Here's where I suggest you head first:

Sunday 25 May 2014

Barcelona Insta-roundup

Last weekend I ran away from the mundanity and tribulations of reality for a weekend away in Barcelona. My friend and I took advantage of an insane deal on TravelZoo (check it out - seriously.) and stayed at the beautiful Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel for 3 days and 3 nights of cocktails, bubbles, sunshine, relaxation, luxury and cheesey tourist photos.
Luckily the weather was good to us, so we spent 2 days by the stunning rooftop pool, and one on and off open-top tour buses (needless to say, we incited some social media envy).

I thought I'd post a few photos from my trip, including one of my Sophie Hulme-esque across body bag (from Aldo via ASOS), which I reluctantly bought because of Ryanair's preposterous handbag size guidelines. Hoping to do an outfit post this week...

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend!

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Courting Controversy

Every so often a trend comes along that tests even the most steadfast of trend-followers' resolve. The emergence, and subsequent explosion of the 'ugly shoe' has divided and rocked the fashion community. On the one hand, fashion is wearable art, and therefore a celebration of beauty; on the other hand, it is a constantly-evolving industry which seeks to challenge ideas of normality, rejoice in inventiveness, and redefine standards of beauty. 

I have always harboured a secret curiosity about Birkenstocks - this was only exacerbated by their appearance on almost every blog I saw, and in well-styled outfits on Instagram. "So..." I thought, "...it wouldn't hurt to try a pair right?" 

On a rainy Tuesday lunch break, I slipped (literally) into Urban Outfitters in Covent Garden to try on a pair in bright white...

...later a black pair were in my Amazon basket (I always find that branded shoes are cheaper there. It's worth a look - my Birks were about £30) 

Even though I once swapped glasses with my 70 year-old deputy headteacher, only to find that my prescription was stronger, I'm not blind. They are fugly, and I'll willingly admit it. But that's part of their charm - they're chunky and awkward, and look out of place in a pretty outfit, but in a cool way (kind of like me, but without the cool) , I'm aware that these are a brave choice. They are a statement, a declaration of the fact that I am the sort of person who embraces different, who enjoys quirky, who might be an art history lecturer. 

And yet, I hesitate when I find the perfect outfit to wear them with. This might be because of something a friend of mine said, when I mentioned I had bought Birkenstocks and Nike Roshes in the same month: 

"That's what happens when you get older, you stop caring about what looks good and you just think about comfort". 

I have several qualms with this statement:

1) I'm not older. That word is charged with judgement and thinly-veiled insult. Despite the fact that I have milk bottle glasses straight out of 1982, a vocabulary that won't quit and a fondness for wine and early nights, I'm 22. I'm far from sensible, and I spent my birthday last year in Disneyland.

2) I care about what looks good. It's not like I've given up completely and resigned myself to onesies and house slippers, it just so happens that these particular shoe styles require an alternative perspective and a respect for the slightly odd aesthetic. 

3) I have never been one to just think about comfort- I don't own heels under 4 inches, and only one pair are platforms - the rest are strappy and/or pointed stilettos, so by all accounts I'm sort of a shoe sadist. Why can't I think about both? Why can't I think that these look cool and appreciate the fact that they support my arches and feel like I'm walking on a cloud?



Personally, I can't wait for Summer to arrive, so I can style these with ripped jeans, summer dresses, cut-offs and slouchy tailoring. 

What do you think? Would you work the Birk?

Saturday 8 March 2014

Wearing my heart on my feet.


Just over a month ago, my boyfriend of nearly 5 years and I broke up. Since then, I've been going through a bit of a life overhaul, and spending my money on pretty shoes that I will now presumably need for single nights out. I'm hoping that this spending spree is just a phase that will eventually wear itself out, I'm sure that eventually I will have to process my feelings in a more mature and fiscally sound way, but for now I'm happy to shop my way out of them...

The first pair were reduced from £250 to £49 on shoeaholics.com (a relatively guilt-free footwear paradise from Kurt Geiger) and are a somewhat confusing interplay between librarian and dominatrix. Either way, I dig the silver buckles and generous toe cleavage, and I'm willing to overlook the patent leather.

Next are my Sophia Webster 'Roka' courts. I fell in love with them in her Covent Garden pop-up, but even though they were reduced, I couldn't justify £250 on shoes. Then I spotted them in the online sale for £147. No. Brainer. I'm not entirely sure how I'll style them yet - or where I'll wear them - but these are marginal details.

Finally, these Kat Maconie wedges are my most recent buy. I picked them up at London Fashion Weekend, and was seduced by the ponyskin and the ankle strap which hits my leg in exactly the right place, giving the illusion of making them appear longer and more streamline. Like a Pat Butcher racehorse.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Lulu Guinness

Purses: Lulu Guinness

Having, admittedly, had little to no experience of Lulu Guinness before, I wandered into her Covent Garden pop-up store on a cold, sopping wet night after work last week, hoping to at least escape the rain, if not to find something lovely to cheer myself up. 

Little did I know that I would find a kindred spirit in the sales assistant, and be leaving with a couple of little gems, and a wishlist full of iconic Lulu lip clutches (I've already started saving).  These purses were just under £30 each in the heavily-discounted sale, and I just couldn't resist them!