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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.


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.


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.


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.


Deborah 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 for more.

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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Preen by Thornton Bragazzi – LFW AW16

So I’m having a thing with pink at the moment.  Not in your face fuchsia or hot pink but a kind of pink take on neutrals.  Dusty pink reminds me of the 1970’s so let’s call it Pig’s breath (I’m joking) how about bubble gum? No, it’s the New Pink.

New Pink was all over the catwalk shows none more than Preen by Thornton Bragazzi.  This AW16 show featured trees framing the catwalk, pink trees.  The collection was highly seductive with nighttime flounce of frills and black chiffon.

The highlight of the show (and somewhat unexpected) was that they moved a way from a neutral monochone palate and introduced our new pink.

 The colour was exciting but the way they showed it even more so, pink sequins, pink velvet, pink marabou feathers….need I go on?

In an industry where designers show very little to shock,  more fabric, more textures, more pink, seemed to go a long way.



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Sunday Supplement #26

Sunday for me is such a good food day.  Sunday is the day to relax and take pleasure in leisurely preparing and eating your dinner.

Sunday feels like a day when you don’t need to be just refuelling, you can take time to plan and cook and make the most wonderful things to eat and share.

However what with London Fashion Week, and a super busy work week I’ve just not had the time to plan and prepare my usual culinary cuisine.  My midweek meals have consisted of goody bag fodder, popcorn, cupcakes and coconut milk and take aways on the London to Brighton night train home….Hmmm.

Thankfully this week I got my first Simply Cook pack in the post, four amazing recipes in one box posted through the door.

It is THE way to Transform Your Mid-week Mealtimes if you a short on time but big on food.

SimplyCook is obsessed with flavour. They hunt the world for delicious dishes and work out the flavour combinations that make them so tasty. Then they source and combine these flavour blends and deliver them to you, along with simple 20 minute recipes to follow.

Four delicious recipes, regularly delivered through your letterbox as often as you want them.  Each recipe comes with 3 authentic flavour blends (like stocks, spices and glazes). With up to 18 ingredients in each flavour blend, these make the meals taste truly authentic.
I have to say I’ve been really impressed with the Simply Cook pack and how easy they make midweek meals, I cooked all four recipes in one week, I especially liked Goan Fish Curry, and this is how I did it…….


Have a lovely food filled Sunday!

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.


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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London Fashion Week AW16 – #LFW

One more sleep until London Fashion Week begins. I’ve got the tickets, planned my route and arranged to meet up with other bloggers, buyers and friends.

 I’ve RSVP’d to catwalk shows, presentations, parties and pop up’s.  I’ve done my nails, skin and hair, hell I’ve even fake baked!

The only remaining thing to do is decide what to wear…..This Pure Cotton Off The Shoulder Blouse is going to be my wardrobe staple all Spring.

Shall I team it with these Wide Leg Belted Trousers or these  Wide Leg Denim Culottes?
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You can always count on M&S for last minute staples white shirt and trouser combo. M&S are ofering 20% off all clothes during London Fashion Week if you have a Sparks card.

Follow me on Instagram and twitter for up to date posts throughout London Fashion Week.



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London Fashion Week – What to Wear

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With London Fashion Week only three weeks away the big question on bloggers lips is what to wear to the LFW shows this season?

Last Season I wore a lot of tailoring and prints, take a look back to my Style Diary.  Though I’m not feeling the same vibe for this season.

I’ve been taking a look at this week’s Paris Couture shows for some ideas on street chic.  Here’s my take on the street looks to watch out for and wear.

1/ Blue Jeans

As know Blue Jeans are going to be big this Spring.  The fashionista’s have already embraced this trend in Paris.  Straight leg, boot cut, flare, cut off…any jean actually as long as it’s not skinny!
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2/ Oversized Coat

Baby it’s cold outside in London in February.  Less is more underneath but more is more in your outer layer, shearling is still popular, fur, as ever and the ubiquitous cream or white Coat.

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If you’re undecided go monochrome. It was all over Paris this year, and well, you can’t really go wrong with black and white!


4/Floral Boho

There’s still a thing going on for floaty floral looks, wear with flats and an oversized coat for a little bit of fashion fun.

5/Laid back style

Overall unless you are going to an evening dinner or party event the fashionista look for buyers and celebrities alike is very laid back this season, don’t overdo it and take a leaf from the Parisian’s book. Laid back gauche is the look du jour!

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Love DSB x

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Style Diary #01 – LFW

Hooray! As much as I hate to see the sunshine go I’m a little bit delighted to see rain clouds this morning. For as we all know the best things about Autumn are boots and coats!

My absolute best buy so far this Autumn Winter season has been skinny ankle boots from Topshop.  I bought them in black then nude and they saw me through LFW a treat, no plasters for me ladies, just warm comfy toes.  The boots are called Magnificent and they really are.

As the weather now seems to be changing to more Autumnal feeling days I thought I’d share with you an outfit that I wore on day one of LFW this September.

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The skirt and coat are by Modern Love a beautiful brand I work with in Brighton.  Digital prints on monochrome light wool, lined in a silky lime green.

I teamed the suit with a silk vest from H&M, my trusty magnificent boots and my go to leather bag from Jas MB.



I couldn’t have been happier or comfier in my London Fashion Week ensemble.


Love DSB X

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Sunday Supplement #11

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Hope you enjoyed last week’s fashion posts.  It was fun covering the London Fashion Week Catwalk Shows but it was also hard work, I was shattered by day three!

Not very rock’n’roll I know.  I did go to one celeb party, the PPQ party in Mayfair, which was fun but more than enough partying for one LFW!

Since then I’ve celebrated a Wedding Anniversary and a Birthday, both low key.  I was spoilt with beautiful gifts, I always think having a birthday in September is quite timely, two pairs of Autumn Ankle Boots and a Winters Coat, thank you very much!   I also got tonnes of cards and flowers, thank you all.




IMG_9866This weekend has allowed me some lovely time off, not too much planned, seeing a couple of friends for a catch-up Friday, time with family Saturday and Sunday.

This morning we are displaying typical signs of suburban living, my mum is making apple crumble in the kitchen, my dad has taken the dog for a walk, Mr B has been for his bike ride and is now washing the car.  A for me I’ve done a little gardening, composed and shot some lifestyle images for the blog now I’m having a coffee listening to BBC 6 Music and writing…..The things that Sundays are made for…

It’s not all Fashion Dahling, but I like it!

Love DSB X




PS Here’s my pick of the best of the blogs this week.


1/ Stylonylon – LFW Outfit Diary

2/Vivianna Does Makeup – The Autumn Edit

3/ Style Memos – Classics

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Zandra Rhodes & People Tree

As part of the run-up to this year’s London Fashion Week, I attended the launch of a collaboration between Dame Zandra Rhodes and People Tree.  Zandra Rhodes needs no explanation, as a peer of British Fashion Design, but if you’ve not heard of People Tree, they are the sustainable Fair Trade pioneers, the home of ethically sourced fashion.

The evening was held at Dame Zandra’s penthouse apartment on Bermondsey Street.  Where Zandra, Safia Minney, Founder and CEO of People Tree and Journalist Lucy Siegle took turns to present the new collection.








The Collection named, ‘Girl Power:Roses, Lipsticks and Bows’ embraces Zandra’s archive prints from the 1960’s on a background of soft colours and the finest organic cotton from India.  The hand woven block print collection on tailored ruffles shows People Tree’s years of partnership with Fair Trade groups in Bangladesh.

The three travelled to Bangladesh earlier in the year to see the pieces being made.  One of the groups, Swallows, has been a long term Fair Trade partner for 20 years.

I was really impressed by the collaboration, I’m not sure how a renowned international designer and the CEO of the longest established Fair Trade Clothing Company in the world find the time to collaborate, but they have and they bring a very fresh, very wearable collection to the fashion market.

It’s an interesting debate, ethical fashion, I’m a new follower, still learning and forming my own opinions.   The SS16 collection is available in February 2016 but why not check out the current AW15 collection on People Tree.

Love DSB X

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Paul Costelloe SS16 – New Reflections

During London Fashion Week, Paul Costelloe presented his Spring/Summer 2016 collection, ‘New Reflections’.


Set in the prestigious Hotel Cafe Royal, this catwalk show was never going to be anything other than glamorous.

The show started with bright tailored coats and short full-skirted dresses.  With a nod to the 60’s, Costelloe has experimented with neoprene fabrics in bright, bold colours.  The fabric brings a new element to the 60’s look.  Feminine A-line dresses seemed to kick out more, tailored coats seemed sharper and jumpsuits seemed to have more jump.

I wasn’t overwhelmed by the white wedge trainers (which were not by Paul, so why bring them in?) or the cutout tummy sections on some dresses (Surely a hard look for anyone to pull off).  All in all these were two tiny things in an altogether fantastic collection.  I loved the brights, the neoprene, the overly shorter length in skirts and the exaggerated puffed sleeves and necklines.

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The dresses changed in fabric, for the evening, and the fairy tale ending.  Jacquards were light and floral and skirts were super romantically short.

The Collection was a delight and ultimately made me long for Summer nights in Italy.  I guess if anyone wants to do an Audrey Hepburn, 1960’s inspired collection I can’t think of anyone more qualified and capable than Costelloe.

Love DSB X


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Pam Hogg Lawless SS16


Pam Hogg known for her rebellious eccentric catwalk shows didn’t disappoint for her London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 16 catwalk show.  Freemasons’s Hall set the backdrop for her vibrant punk take on the Wild West.

Entitled Lawless, first to hit the catwalk were her bright, skin-tight, sometimes fringed catsuits, followed by a kind of poncho declaring ‘Give a man a Gun and he’ll Rob a Bank….Give a man a Bank and he’ll Rob The World’.

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Studs, of course, were everywhere, detailing suiting, on oversized berets and jacket lapels.  This year Spikes were added to hotpants – Not for the feint hearted.

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Shoes were super platform high and the end of the show saw brights, yellow and orange for women and men.

Someone asked me at the end of the show if I thought the collection was wearable, I don’t think it is, although it was hugely fun, the crowd loved it, more like a gig than a catwalk show.

There’s a lot of love out there for London and the 60’s and rebellion, I’m sure a lot of people will be inspired by it, perhaps its just not right for the weekly Waitrose shop?

Spiky pants anyone?

Love DSB X

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After an absolutely exhausting London Fashion Week, followed by illness (I’ll spare you the details) I’m back at my desk and I’m dedicating the whole week to fashion.

First on my list is one of my favourite shows of London Fashion Week SS16, CCUOCO.  You may not have heard the name yet, but I think that you will, with her mix of sexy determination Candice Cuoco took to the runway for the second time at LFW to present CCUOCO’s SS16 collection, Persephone.

The collection draws its inspiration from the darker side of romance. Named after the Greek goddess Persephone. Homer described her as a formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld, who carried into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead.  Ok, so you wouldn’t want to meet her on dark night, or would you?

Candice personified her take on romance in this collection, the darker more sorrowful side love and beauty. Love is not always a fairytale and sometimes leaves a scar but scars can be beautiful. The collection shows the chaos that can come out of love and the passion that can produce something beautiful from something dark. The collection is a reflection of a woman in love, every woman’s story looks, sounds and feels different, this collection represents one small story of many.

Many of the silhouettes were cut to flatter a woman’s shape as Candice loves to play with lines on the woman’s body. The silhouettes are a reflection of CCUOCO and have remained a strong core of the brand from its launch in 2014.

This season saw a more feminine side of CCUOCO, still using the CCUOCO statement material of leather but adding softer romantic fabrics including organza, silk satin and silk chiffon. Colours included maroons, navy, creams and black, the introduction of sheer fabrics gave this dark inspired collection a Spring/Summer edge.
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I loved the collection, strong, sleek, classic, but ultimately wearable.  Did I say sexy as well? The fact that the models nipples were on show throughout and two female models paused for a lingering kiss mid-catwalk was sexy, mysterious, cool, rather than shocking, this is fashion after all.

Candice Cuoco’s personal favourite of the collection was the finale dress, a black long sheer gown that through its shape, material and colour embodies the entire collection. Dark and mysterious but elegant and feminine: the perfect combination of the qualities of the female race.

I loved it….I leave you Candice Cuoco.



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London Fashion Week – Spring Summer 2016

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Today is day one of London Fashion Week.  The best of British and International designers will showcase their new collections for Spring/Summer 2016.

It may seem a long time off but what you see on the catwalks this week will transcend through the different levels of fashion and by the Spring you may well be wearing a version of it.

I’ll try to bring what I can from the shows I’m going to see but also give you a little feel for the spirit of #LFW.  There’s honestly sometimes as much fashion going on backstage and on the streets as on the catwalks.

Follow me on Instagram @diaryofanhonestwoman

and on twitter @anhonestwoman

For live updates

Double fashion kiss mwah mwah xx



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