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Spring Summer 2018 Fashion – Catwalk Collections at Charity Shop Prices

At long last the sun is here, and it finally feels like Spring.  Excellent news!  I think I speak for the whole Nation when I say we were all beyond happy to feel the sun on our faces.  Then you look in your wardrobe to pull together a Spring outfit but all you see is jumper, jumper, jeans, boots, jumper.  Sound familiar?

Fear not.  Believe it or not it is possible to achieve catwalk looks at charity shop prices.  I’ve attended the Spring Summer 2018 catwalk shows and noted the trends, but catwalk prices are not for everyone, so I’ve been to The British Red Cross Shop in Shoreham By Sea to translate these trends into affordable looks.

Pastels

So many of the big-name designers Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors and Erdem Returned to the 1980’s obsession with pastel.  Remember that yellow pastel jumpsuit of your youth or the peach rara skirt?  The British Red Cross holds a number of vintage items and trust me 1980’s is going to be a popular choice for the Spring.

If you don’t want to return to the Eighties, then I found some beautiful simple dresses in pastel tones that have been donated by high street stores.  We call these items Encore and the donated high end designer store items we call Scarlet (Yes with one t!).  Ask in your local BRC store.

Bright’s

I know I’ve just talked about the popularity of pastels and now I’m contradicting myself by saying go bright, you will have to trust me on this one.  A bright shock of Red, Coral, Orange, Purple or Green is just the thing to wow for a spring wedding, go bold with sun dress and accessories.  On the catwalks it was either head to toe one mono colour or clashing bold colours, think red trousers pink shirt.  Be brave.

Denim

Oh, you may say, I’ve been wearing jeans for years.  This seasons denim is constructed into beautifully crafted jackets, trouser suits and dresses.  Charity shops are full of huge quantities of denim I found an unusual dress and skirt from the Scarlet collection here.  The beauty of a charity shop is that you can buy some items for very little and experiment.

The strappy Dress

Think back to the 1990’s Kate Moss is in her early days of modelling and pictured at a party in a sheer dress.  The dress, which was cut on the bias with shoe lace straps, was loved by the press and called a nightie by the tabloids.  And so, the strappy dress was born.  This year its back wear it on its own, with ruffles or with a T-Shirt underneath, I found so many possibilities in store.

If I had to summarise the looks for Spring Summer I’d say they were joyful and fun.  The catwalks also told a story of sustainability in fashion, choosing were you shop is also set to be a trend, you can’t really get shop more ethically than The British Red Cross.

The British Red Cross Shop in Kensington and Chelsea are holding their Spring Event on Thursday 24th May 12-8pm.

A press breakfast to preview the collection is open to press and bloggers on 24th May from 10 am-12 noon.

Get in touch for more details.

Love

Deborah x

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Packing for a Spring Break

The first glimpse of spring for me is my neighbour’s Magnolia Tree, the most majestic of bold pink petals growing high into the sky.  The second is the sudden burst of cherry blossom in our garden.  Hundreds of tiny buds open to display an astonishing show of pink.  The Magnolia and The Blossom have two things in common, for me they both signal the start of spring and also both beautiful displays last only for a short time.


I’m writing this post from Brussels where I’ve just spent the day walking Streets and Boulevards carpeted in sweet-smelling petals.

Whilst its been hot in the sun the past few days it is surprisingly cold in the shade.  Packing for a Spring break or Easter holiday takes a bit more thought than usual.


Go for transitional clothes that can shoulder the change from Winter to Spring.  Take trousers.  culottes, ankle grazers, cut off jeans and 3/4 trousers. I’ve packed four pairs of these for my week-long trip.  One olive-green everyday will go with anything and on a sunny day can wear with flip-flops.  One posh heavy navy blue for more sophisticated days, a pair of  cut off jeans and finally black culottes that can transcend just about any occasion as and when needed.

Keep it simple for the top half.  I’m going to hook onto Blue as my major colour for this pack as I have jeans and trousers in blue and a navy embroidered bomber andlinen structured jacket.


For this reason I’ll be keeping all tops, shirts and jumpers in shades of blue and white.  I’ve of course thrown in a stripe and a black blouse for an unexpected posh dinner.  But otherwise its a white shirt or T-shirt option (I need only 2 but packing 6 for safety).

Finally white plimsoles, multicoloured trainers, every day boots, a midi heel in pink and a high-heeled black mule.  Shoes dont count as extra if your travelling by car, finding their own way in the footwells..


That’s it! Capsule wardrobe complete x

Love DSB X

 

 

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LFW Sunday Supplement #35

September is the best month of the year for me.  It’s still a little warm from the Summer, we have Vogues bumper September Issue to feed on and we have Autumn/Winter  wear to dive into, coats, boots, hats.  Best of all London host’s one of my favourite events, London fashion Week.

September is also my birthday month and my wedding anniversary. I always feel a little blessed in September, and the sun usually shines.

Shine it did for this London Fashion Week, where I’ve seen a good mix of our home grown talent.

Ones to watch gave us new structure on old vibes.  More on these fresh new designers soon.

Paul Costelloe went back to basics with Irish Linen. With amazingly understated linen brilliance.  Amazing shapes and all from one material.

Pam Hogg did her own (very good) thing with all things rock and roll. (This catwalk is just as much a party as a show).  It has the best rock outfits and the best audience to rock stars and rock chic’s to boot!

And the rest, Preen, Belstaff, Ashley Isham,  all so good for us involved in Uk fashion.  Even if you don’t get FROW, and I don’t always, it’s such a charismatic industry to support and report on.

The fashion economy in the UK is now worth an estimated £50 Billion a year. It’s not to be sniffed at folks.

Hurray for LFW. We do this well!

Check www.britishfashioncouncil.com for more.

Love DSB X

 

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Off The Shoulder

Hey

I’ve been away.

Busy work week followed by a holiday in France (More about that later).

This last week I have been nodding to the much talked about ‘Off the Shoulder’ trend.  I packed for my holiday carefully chosen off the shoulder tops, shirts, and dresses, ranging from Marks and Spencer’s much hailed White Cold Shoulder to varying black and blue bits from Cos, Zara, H&M.

The thing is, an off the shoulder top is not that easy to wear, the crisp white cotton types are too hot for a day in the sun yet these rather stiff garments don’t like to be tucked into a jacket for the evening.  The slinky types are reserved for parties or special occasions with far too much grip on your assets for a daytime do.

The one, off the shoulder piece I wore all week was a black lace dress from Florence & Fred.  That’s right the best, most wearable version I found costs under £10 and it’s from a supermarket.

This dress has many things going for it, not just because it is under £10.  It is soft and floaty enough to wear in the day, sexy enough to wear at night.  You can wrap this dress in a ball stuff it in your carry-on bag, it won’t crease. Finally, it falls subtly from the bust and so like me you can conceal a multitude of cheese and wine in your much-satisfied holiday tummy underneath. 

Love

DSB x

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Met Gala 2016

I couldn’t pull myself out of bed this morning.  Not a hangover from the bank holiday but an amazing feed of beautiful people in the most overly sparkly frocks.  I was, of course, on Instagram glued to the morning after last night’s Met Gala.

  
The annual Met Gala held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City usually brings a plethora of well-dressed artists, actresses celebrities and models but with a theme this year of Manus x Machina, Fashion in the age of technology, dresses were sparklier, ethereal and altogether more other worldly than before.

Cut out was a major theme as was OTT dressing for the future, Katy Perry turned up with a 90s Tamagotchi around her neck, (that’s a digital pet, for those who don’t know!)



The event is curated (guestlist approved) by US Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour who has chaired the event since 1995.

Tickets for the annual invitation-only event reportedly cost £20,5000 ($30,000) and the proceeds go to the museum’s costume institute.

Which made me think, fashion houses make dresses worth millions for the gala, they buy the tickets for the celebrity guests, raising money for The Met.  The Met, in turn, buys dresses from the fashion houses to exhibit, some of the dresses that will be worn by the stars.

It’s a funny old word of fashion swings and roundabouts!

PS Alexa Chung, your my favourite!

Love DSB x

Images; Ghetty Images

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Style Diary #06 Weekend Wardrobe

So it seems that not so long ago I wrote about coordinating you weekend away wardrobe and keeping it simple. As I remember last time I picked my weekend attire by colours (nude and blue) as it happens. 

This weekend I’m turning this theory on its head and going for double and triple clash prints. 

  
    

Stripes are you staple print basic. On clothes bags even shoes. But then take a stripe and mix it up a bit. 

  

Turn it into a zebra print. A leopard print. All flowers butterfly’s and add a splash of colour. Rule of thumb is if your mixing prints keep the colour level quite right. This is why in this edit black and white and a pop of blue and yellow go! 

Have a fab weekend 

Love DSB x 

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Long Weekend Wardrobe

Love clothes, hate packing?  Me too.

I have a few rules that I try to stick to when packing for a long weekend away, here’s how I (try) to spend less time packing more time weekending!

1/ Choose your clothes around the number of days you have away.  This Easter I have three whole days away plus one day travelling to my destination and one day travelling back. I can wear the same outfit (more or less) on both days of travel, this usually includes comfy jeans, a jumper, flat boots and an outside coat, which doubles for walking the dog.  Therefore less to travel.


 2/ What will your weekend days involve? Long country walks? City visits, friends, family or fancy hotels and posh nosh?  Choose your outfits carefully for the event and day.  I usually try the outfits on in advance to make sure I have the right underwear, shoes and accessories in mind.

3/ Check the weather!  It sounds silly but I’m not the first person to freeze at a festival in August or be washed away in my Jimmy Choo’s at a wedding in a marquee in July.  Should you really wear that bonnet for Easter?


 4/ Choose a look and stick to it. My outfits this weekend consist of boots (high black, high nude, flats), Jeans (Black, Grey and Blue), Blouse (Black, Nude and Blue) Statement Jacket various x 3 and Silk Scarf x 3.  I get confused when I try to mix it up with say palazzo pants, culottes or a maxi dress.  All fine for a one night away wardrobe but the long weekend is a different beast. You should pack what you know works x3, stick to a look and work it.

5/ One handbag.   I know, it’s hard, but I’m putting this out there people.  You can do a long weekend or even a week away with only one bag, albeit a fabulous work hard sort of bag.  Try it, you’ll see.  You will feel refreshed and lighter and altogether more Weekending.


 Have a lovely Easter and bank holiday.

Love DSB X

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Sunday Supplement #27

Where did Sunday go?

I’ve been lazily trying to rearrange my studio, I say lazily because apart from the cleaning I’ve been trying to rearrange my books.  Trouble is, every time I move a book to sort it, keep, chuck, or maybe? The book takes on a story from my past, a memory or a meaning, then I open the book and start reading.  Game Over!

My day has passed like this, I move a few books, see one I recognise to be good, start reading, Mr B shouts “Have you finished yet?” “We should take the dog for a walk”  and so my day continues with minor eating and walking interuptions until now, I am still in the middle of cooking, blogging and spring cleaning a room.  Where does the time go?…..I guess Mum’s have this ten fold.


So today was mother’s day.  We celebrated Mother’s Day last Sunday with a truly yummy pub lunch at The Fountain in Ashurst, Ma, Pa, me and Mr B and pups.  I bought my mum a pretty scarf and some Dream Oil Serum by Deborah Mitchelle. Mum bought lunch pub lunch for us all plus drinks, it seemed fair at the time, …..But perhaps we take our Mum’s for granted?  I know I do.


  
 Mother’s Day was invented by American greetings card manufacturers to make more sales, a lot of people don’t like it, my Mum would say, “Dont bother its only a day” but Mum’s are important every day.  More each day.

My mum has always said “Your Mum is your best friend,” and It’s true, she is.  It took me some time to work this out but my ma is there for me come hell or high water, she’s only ever a phone call away, a confidant, an advisor, a teacher and a friend.  My Mum would defend me to the hilt, she is truly my best friend and a great lady!

Love you Ma xxx

Hope you all had a special day x

 

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Pam Hogg – AW16 – LFW

So I was going to talk about Pam Hogg’s London Fashion Week Catwalk show, however, I’ve been gazumped by her and her friends performance at The Brits.

Last Friday the catwalk show for AW16 took place with Hoggs usual punky, edgy, style with possibly more PVC, More sheer and there altogether more all round on show.

   
    
 However, Hogg outdid her catwalk performance by firstly creating the Brits Awards trophy for this year and then having her nether clad model friend walk the red carpet and right into Ant and Dec’s hands while presenting live.

   
    
 No more to be said than we salute you Madame Hogg, and here’s some pics from the catwalk show.

Not quite FROW so excuse heads!

  
Love DSB X

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Paul Costelloe – AW16 – LFW

Paul Costelloe knows how to put on a fashion show, this Grand Meister of fashion blew our expectations out of the water this season with a much stronger, powerful collection than previous seasons.

Front row at Costelloe in the Meridien Hotel’s Oak Room with its wood panelled walls and crystal chandeliers made for a dramatic setting.

Inspired by the modern day female warrior, the Costelloe woman is ambitious, fearless and a fighter.  The collection is a departure from Costello’s usual style of 60’s and 70’s swing skirts and pastels.  This was much bolder power dressing of the 80’s and a reminder of his heritage of supreme tailoring.

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Sharp, oversized military coats in warm red checks and distorted herringbone.  Trademark Costelloe babydoll dresses were in transparent organza, all a little racy for Costelloe woman, but I loved it.

Let’s also for a moment just talk bags, slouchy rucksack in leather and shearling, fringed clutches in leather and suede, deliciously beautiful.

Paul Costelloe said, ” I hope this collection conveys my aspirations in moving the Paul Costelloe brand forward, in an exciting and unconventional manner.”

And so it does Paul, so it does!

Love DSB X

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Style Diary #05 – Christmas Day Dress

I’ve mentioned womenswear brand Cecily before.  They specialise in designing and creating smart, tailored dresses for work and occasion wear.

It wasn’t until I tried the dresses that I realised just how beautiful they are and perfect for a special occasion such as Christmas work lunch or your Christmas day dress.

I ordered the Caroline dress in Navy and the Helen dress in Black. Both dresses looked amazing both made of a weighty crepe fabric and fully lined in sumptuous purple silk.

I tried Helen first, all full skirted floatiness, I rarely go for a full skirt because I think it makes me look a little frumpy, but with its chic keyhole detail and velvet ribbon the dress cuts a fine line between super sexy and demure. I wore the wrong shoes for the shoot. I should have gone for boots, I wore boots with it to an evening event later that day along with a touch of fur and was transformed, I’d become Lara from Dr Zhivago.  I felt empowered and almost did a little Russian jig, it looked so good!



Then I tried the Caroline dress and Wow! What a frock, with its slender cut and voluptuous sleeves this dress, oozes chic style, I had become stately, regal even! I was Michelle Obama meeting the queen all curtsey’s and diplomacy, I was a goodwill ambassador, this dress could help peacekeeping in the Middle East, hell this dress could solve poverty and world peace!

 





Thoughtfully designed and beautifully made I’ll watching the Queens speech in Cecily this year!

www.wearececily.com

Love DSB X

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Sunday Supplement #20 – Men’s Gifts

We all know how difficult men can be to buy for. I find it beyond tricky to buy for Mr B as he runs a menswear brand and has the accessories side of things pretty much covered. So I need to think beyond the obvious ties and socks.

If you’re like me and still shopping online for gift ideas you will be reassured to hear that it’s not too late.  Many stores are still offering free next day delivery up until Christmas Eve.

With that in mind here’s my selection this season for men.

First off this beautiful Italian leather bag from Fedon 1919 its not quite briefcase, not just a man bag, somewhere nicely in between. Buy now from Boston&Boston.

Next these matching mother of pearl cufflinks and dress studs from denisonboston.  I love them (but then I am biased towards the brand.)

How about posh smellies? Luxurious shave creme from Nancy Lo (this is unisex BTW so you can totally steal it!) and beautifully packaged hair pomade from The Old Street Barber Co.

For a little Christmas Day humour these Misfortune Cookies (which I can’t wait to try!)

 

For the tech man who has everything this Fire TV stick from Amazon and these absurdly good and cheap headphones from Lidl.

 

That’s it on the men’s front. Keep it simple, keep it smart. #Itsnottoolate

Have a wonderful Sunday

Love DSB X

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Style Diary #04 – Party Lace

This year I’ve gone for double lace as my party season look.  I’ve dabbled in lace before but never gone for matching skirt and blouse.


  

I knew as soon as I saw the quality of the lace that I would like this look, It’s very Italian, very grown up, a little Dolce & Gabanna maybe?

There are two types of lace, nice lace and nasty lace, this is very nice lace.  The rule is usually the more expensive the lace the better quality the garment.  This blouse and skirt exude quality yet you’d be surprised to learn both items are from the Marks & Spencer Autograph collection and priced at a very pocket-friendly £55 each.



Buying lace separates for a Winter party outfit also covers you for other eventualities.  Dress down the lace skirt with a roll neck.

Or dress up the blouse, with leather pants for more of a disco, party look.

Just checked the M&S website and both items are now in the sale!

Bags throughout Boston&Boston

Love DSB x

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Sunday Supplement #17

So by the time you read this I will be in Venice, City of water and love.  Oh, how I’ve longed to float around St Marks Square in Palazzo pants, an oversized sun hat and sunglasses, all silk and ethereal loveliness like Amal Clooney.  Except it’s the end of November and it’s cold and raining and I’m never going to look like Mrs C.

Not one to complain (moi?) I’m not be letting us Brits down by channelling some Italian City Break dressing and packing tips.

1/ Coordinate your clothes.  I’m taking only black, white and navy items of clothing with me.  This means (in theory) everything goes with everything.

2/ One bag fits all.  We are only going away for 4 days people, so I’ve carefully chosen an Italian leather cross body bag by Jas MB.  It’s in the softest black leather and it fits my purse, my sunnies (one can but hope) and lipstick and guidebook.  Done.

3/ Stripes. I always think stripes are good travel companions.  We are in Venice after all so I’m going to go all ‘O Solo Mio’ on the Gondola.  Black and White stripes and Navy and White stripes (in theory) also go with everything.

 

  
  
 4/ Boots.  A mid-heeled boot should see you through from walking the city to business meetings and formal dinners. However being a woman I will, of course, pack more shoes.  One pair of black high heeled shoes (that may or may not be worn) and one pair of flat knee high black boots (ditto).

5/ Coat.  Choose your coat well.  I’m going for a double-breasted Pea Coat in Black, which looks smart and goes with pretty much everything.  I’m also taking a denim shirt that doubles as a jacket.

6/ Lace. I’m taking a lace skirt and blouse from M&S. Separates work hard on a weekend away, dress them up together or down with jeans or a polo neck.

7/ Beauty Samples. I keep all of my trial sizes of lotions and potions in a safe place and when I travel only take these tiny tubes with me.

8/ Clear Bags. I have an aversion to plastic carrier bags, especially those given out for liquids at the airport. I now use make up and toiletries bag in clear plastic which means less airport faff.

9/ Cabin Luggage.  For a weekend away even I only require a small trundly to travel. Everthing fits and no waiting for baggage at the airport.

10/ Passport, tickets, toothbush, keys, money, phone.

Back on Wednesday, have a wonderful weekend!

Love DSB x

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Skin Doctors

Do you ever have days when you look in the mirror and all you see are wrinkles?

My problem area is around my eyes, seems each time I look in the mirror another wrinkle appears.

Praise be then to Skin Doctors, the brand that provides a face lift from a bottle.


  
  

I tried Instant Eyelift and Instant Facelift, you pop them on before your makeup and it sort of works as sellotape over your skin, filling up the wrinkles and smoothing away lines.

The eyelift and facelift dry to hold the skin taut, it also lasts for up to eight hours.  I think it’s perfect for a special occasion or the Christmas party season.

I’m going to try it for the remainder of the week, follow me on Social Media to see how I get along.

Skin Doctors Eyelift and Facelift is available from their website or from Amazon

Love DSB XX