Camille

by Sophie Brown


I can't remember how I first discovered Camille Rowe. I think she was the cover of one of my Pinterest boards, all messy hair and shaggy coat. Discovery story aside, I have slavishly followed her Instagram feed for a while, @fingermonkey if you want to join me at the altar of Rowe, and love her Parisian/LA fusion of whimsical, vintage, rock n roll dressing. Being born to an American model/dancer mother and a French restaurateur was always going to result in an effortlessly cool offspring though wasn't it? Forever rooted in the 70's spirit , she wears denim like no other mixed with vintage tees and Bowi-esque platforms. Often seen parading a Birkin style wicker basket paired with a vintage jacket that you just know could tell a thousand stories, or the simplest of slip dresses, her sexiness is subtle yet potent. Her perfectly manicured nails combined with messy locks representing the groomed Parisian and relaxed Californian genetic combination that makes her rather unique.  She is the ultimate vintage shopping buddy and I won't even print the lengths I would go to, to raid her wardrobe.


Snakeskin Soles

by Sophie Brown


I have always had a thing for snake skin shoes, they just charm me every time, pulling me over to their shelf and marching me to the till with them in hand. There is an old school glamorous allure to them and also a modern versatility depending on what style of shoe you go for. I see them as a more interesting neutral option than a metallic or a black or white shoe,  I wouldn't hesitate in pairing them with many things.  My favourite Mossy wears a pair in the pic below and as you can see they just add a splash of cool to any outfit. I have currently two pairs in my wardrobe, both by H&M. One pair is pretty bashed in due to wearing them any chance I get and the fresher looking pair of strappy sandals (only 25 quid I may add) are new and ready to roll. I have got a nice navy blue off the shoulder dress that I am mentally teaming them up with already. Also I have to add none of them are real snake skin as I am against that kind of malarky. Fake all the way! 


Cher...In the 70's though!

by Sophie Brown


When I say style, you say Cher!? Anyone? Ok, Cher is not the obvious style icon for anyone under the age of 30 or for someone whose Saturday night does not involve dressing in drag and performing in thigh high PVC boots but we must look back to her early days to see that this girl had some seriously amazing, beautiful looks.  

Cher in the 70's was basically the real life version of Pocahontas, with Cherokee and Armenian ancestry she had thick, long jet black hair and strong features teamed with a sinewy toned bod and the best tan a girl could wish for. She went from dressing in folk style to pure disco with sequins hanging off every part of her body to then keeping it simple with jeans and a cheesecloth top.  Bob Mackie was her go to guy for all the outrageous feathered skimpy costumes she would wear to awards shows, glamour at its absolute best. She pulled off any look she went for as she was bold and beautiful and one of a kind. 


Rosie Huntington the 1st

by Sophie Brown


Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, to put it mildly, is very pretty. But not only is she pretty, she also wears very pretty clothes which I love to look at and try and copy and don't succeed in copying but still like very much to gaze at.  If you looked at my Google history it would involve a lot of different variations of the same theme e.g RHW airport style, RHW casual, RHW going for a hotdog with boyfriend. You catch my drift.

My favourite part of her style is that it is her own. She does not follow faddish trends or have her ass sticking out of strategically placed rips in her jeans. She dresses in a modern way with a nod to classic style. I love how she amps up the glamour at events, wearing truly beautiful gowns that hark back to the days of the old Hollywood starlets and then translates this glamour into day to day life.  She is so feminine and put together, her make up and hair always glossy and perfect. How does she do it! Well, she has a team of professionals to help so lets not all feel too bad about it. 

Her casual, off-duty style is just always very cool, usually a pair of Isabel Marant boots teamed with jeans and a covetable jacket. This chick lives in LA so she gets to wear her fancy clothes every day while we all put our third pair of socks on to make sure frostbite doesn't kick in.  No matter what she wears, she brings elegance and polish to an outfit, never boring or predictable and that is why I google her so much.

Below are some of my recent favourite looks of hers, particularly loving the red lip teamed with the pink silk Galvan dress and also the black choker she is teaming with casual clobber these days. Just got myself one from Zara, the the quest of emulation continues. 



Shirts, Glorious Shirts..

by Sophie Brown


Whilst delving into my mess of a wardrobe today, deciding what to box up until next summer (sob, sob) I came across a couple of my staple, cherished shirts and remembered how I love them so. Shirts are possibly my favourite item of clothing, coming a close second to only jumpsuits (I just love a good all in one outfit that make toilet trips tricky). 

They are the epitome of effortless style, tucked in to a good pair of skinny pants or a pencil skirt with the sleeves rolled up. Perfect for both formal and informal, transformed by a good piece of statement jewellery or dressed down with a pair of Gazelles. Not mentioning also how extremely sexy they are, boy do they look amazing buttoned down with a nice medallion necklace.  Ohh I could just go on and on. 

In terms of my professional life, I also feel about 50% more capable in work when I wear one. They make my posture improve and increase blood flow to my brain (probably not true but I definitely am more productive).  I also very much enjoy how they can be adapted to a situation. If you are meeting your new boyfriend's parents and have a dodgy love bite then button up way to the top. If you are on a first date and feeling a bit adventurous after a swig of Aldi Prosecco, then unbutton down. It can be a dangerous game to play so for safe keeping, I'd say never unbutton past the top of your bosom. Trashy shirt wearing is no good.  



by Sophie Brown



Top 3 Dream Shoes

by Sophie Brown


So it is bank holiday today and I have that familiar 'I don't know what to do with myself' feeling pervading my very being. I have watched back to back episodes of my new favourite show "Barely Famous", got dressed to go out, then decided not to go out and now I am doing something supremely productive. Looking at shoes on the Internet that I can't afford and making a list of the top three pairs that I would really love to have please. I promise to do something good for humanity straight after. 

  I think it may be something that runs in the blood of my family, but I am always attracted to very expensive things and that is most evident with my choice of ideal shoes. Saying that, I have never spent more than 40 pounds on a pair of shoes but in my head I have racked up bills of thousands of pounds with my exorbitant appetite for a snazzy lace up shoe. So below, I have put together a wee list of my current favorite shoes on the market than no one apart from Vickie B or Kim K could even begin to consider purchasing. Lucky bitches. 

 

1

 

Balenciaga All Time Satin Sandals. 

These little beauties caught my eye as they are so princessy, excuse the poor descriptive skills there but you know what I mean. I love the contrast of the construction and sculptural shape with the fluffy, feminine beading. Would look beautiful with a simple shift dress, a modern take on sixties Jackie O style. 

Gucci Lilliane suede sandals

 

Continuing with the retro, princess feel, I have chosen a pair of Gucci sandals with the classic signature horsebit hardware. First of all, Alexa Chung owns a pair so it is only right to include them but also they are just so dainty and ladylike and hark back to an era that I love, the 70's. The Gucci hardbit reminds me of when I first started to read the Vogue magazines stacked up in my nan's kitchen and how I became obsessed with the Gucci logo. I once owned a fake Gucci fannypack too but dont hold that against me. Overall, just a very lovely pair of shoes perfect for my imaginary trip to St Tropez this summer. 

Christian Louboutin Neo Pensee Pumps

No they are not an urban shoe myth Carrie, they are real! These classic Mary-Jane style patent pumps are the dream and an absolute classic. Worth the investment and all the other things people say to justify spending £500 on a pair of shoes. If I owned a pair of these shoes, I think I would have to move to Paris just to give them the life they deserved.  

P.S. if you are looking for shoes that are similar to your favourite designer pairs but not for a similiar price i.e. well cheaper, visit www.shopjessicabuurman.com. One of my favourite bloggers posted a link to it and lets just say I recognised quite a few of the styles! 


Hen Do Dressing (No penis costumes included)

by Sophie Brown


With my Palma-licious Hen Do coming up very soon, my strict wedding money saving regime has been temporarily put on hold for some sartorial splashing out. Noted we're just talking H&M and New Look here, so I still can afford to pay the florist. A Hen Do is THE time to get dressed up and wear the most lavish pieces in your wardrobe, like peacocks and their regal spread of turquoise feathers, we ladies do love to make that extra effort to celebrate the impending nuptials of a friend. In a big group we feel invincible walking down a street linking arms, like a Beyonce style wind machine is blowing our hair at all times providing sexy hairography. That mob mentality makes us more daring with our clothing choices and more likely to wear the things we usually wouldn't when at home on a night out.  

If you choose to go abroad, there is usually the option for swim wear which adds a whole new element to wardrobe planning. From pictures I see on Instagram, the regulation bikini and flip flops just wont do! It's all about the layered jewellery and beautiful kaftans with cat eye sunglasses and high waisted bikinis. Really, it is all about just having fun with how you look and celebrating the fun of being female with your hen so if that four tiered ethnic statement necklace with feathers looks a bit over the top with your bikini, who cares?! It's all about making memories of a fun, relaxed and ultra estrogen fuelled time away.

I have bought a few items this weekend to wear on my hen do, all bargains I must add. My best bargain is the two pairs of sunnies I purchased from B&M Bargains. I had only gone in to buy loo rolls but stumbled upon a rack of sun binoculars all for two quid so I went for broke and bought two pairs. Inevitable day time drunkenness may lead to sunglasses loss so I'm bringing back up pairs just in case.

 

 H&M gives good swimwear every summer and for pleasing prices too. I purchased a very flattering black bikini which has an interesting waffle texture and a bold patterned swimming cossie to wear around the pool or beach or for wherever my bridesmaids have planned for us to visit (I am hoping its not a climbing wall). I also got taken in by a great pair of suede wedges which I will team with a dress or a playsuit in the evening. There is something about a wedge that screams I'm on holiday so I rolled with it. 

So with these new purchases I plan to add lots of bangles and layered necklaces teamed with plenty of glasses of the fizzy stuff and I cant wait to see what all my other hens whip out their wardrobe to party the weekend away in Palma de Mallorca! 

All this talk of hen do wear has got me googling crazy so I  have included some of my favourite hen do style inspiration pictures below.... enjoy! 


Top 5 Betrothal Dresses of the Beautiful People

by Sophie Brown


1

Princess Caroline of Monaco with Princess Leia buns and beautiful broderie anglaise detail on dress. Perfect 70's bride. 

2

The Legend that is Kate Moss in a one off John Galliano bias cut gown. Forest princess meets Great Gatsby vixen in this twenties inspired dress. Shimmering, sexy and demure. 

3

Missoni heiress, Margherita wears Giambattista Valli made of Missoni silk, for her wedding in Brunello. Looking like a medieval princess, the intricate detail of the dress and the pretty Heidi braids make this look so dreamy. In love.

4

Lauren Bush in her spectacular embroidered gown and bejewelled headpiece on her wedding day to Ralph Lauren's son, David. Love, love, love the attention to detail on the dress. 

5

Poppy Delevinge's Emilio Pucci gown went against most of the wedding dress norms, resulting in a fantastic fairytale look straight from the pages of a romantic novel set in an exotic land. 


Jeanne Damas..French Girl Inc

by Sophie Brown


If you ask me, French girls do it best. Do what best you ask? Well, everything really but especially style. They have a way with clothes that is dreamy and chic and simple and classic. Nothing looks brand new, it has all been bought at flea markets in Paris or handed down by equally as chic friends or has been a staple in their wardrobe for years. A medallion necklace here, a wicker basket there, it's all too good not to obsess and stare. A lady I came across on Pinterest is a quintessentially French female, Jeanna Damas. I pinned a number of pictures of her and found out her name. Her style is just lovely, a fine mixture of tomboy and ladylike. Simple classics mixed with delicate vintage pieces, all finely displayed with a backdrop of Paris. Devin, no?


My love, Alexa

by Sophie Brown


My love, Alexa, has been out and about a lot recently promoting her new line for AG Jeans and just generally galavanting around in lovely outfits at various fashion shows.  I've picked a few of my favourite ensembles of hers this month, just as a bit of a Saturday afternoon treat.  Enjoy! 


The 70's in the Naughtie Tens...

by Sophie Brown


During my primary school years, I would sometimes scive off school (routine really wasn't popular with me at the time) and get comfy on my nan's sofa with a digestive biscuit and a chintzy cup of milk.  I would always watch the midday showing of Charlies Angel's and be mesmerized by the sunlit beauty of the three angels and their amazing on screen outfits, made up of skin tight flares, wind blown blouses and Persil-white sun dresses that would highlight their burnished, bronzed skin.  I knew from an early age that the 70's was my style era, man!  

Alongside this fascination, I had real life inspiration from my mum and aunties. The 70's was their era, they were young and hip and travelled to exotic places and wore the most insanely cool outfits. They were hipsters the first time around and I couldn't be more envious that they had that first hand experience of an era that saw so much change and progression as well as such fantastic, expressive fashions.

Look in any magazine or style website at the moment and you will see the influence of 70's style in abundance, bringing the free love and groovy fonts back to the front of the sartorial merry go round.  The front of Paris Vogue this month is an homage to the Parisian 70's girl with the model's short shorts and ultra disco eye make up.  Alexa Chung has brought out a denim line for AG, inspired by the 70's folk movement and on runways and ad campaigns everywhere, there are splashes of 70's influence. Whether that be the more folksy, hippie version of the 70's or the ultra glamorous Halston, Studio 54 version.

 One of my faves, Chloé, is always inspired by the fluidity of the hippie version with the muted, fresh colours and long flowing dresses, perfect for a romantic getaway to Marrakech with your hippy activist boyfriend.  Gucci are the best for the ultra glamorous disco vixen with their up to the knickers dress slits and dyed furs with suede knee high boots. Perfect on the pull material, ladies!  Obviously this is a bit of a a dream land, Topshop and the rest do their own versions at a rate that wont lead to mortgage renewal.  That is the draw of 70's fashion though, it is a dream land. At a time when people, especially women and young people, were in the midst of self discovery and taking ownership of their freedom, the fashions reflected this intoxicating and provocative time. What fun they must have had! And that is why this style is so appealing to me. At the polar opposite end of the normcore fascination, this style is all about standing out and being your most feminine self and accessorising to the high heavens. These are the types of clothes to have fun in and to make fabulous new memories, doesn't that sound so appealing?



Julianne the Goddess

by Sophie Brown


 The year 1960 was the year JFK beat Nixon in a closely fought presidential race. It was also the year Julianne Moore was born. This makes her 54 years old if you ain't got time to do the math. This fact pleases me immensely, making me look forward to my later years, as Julianne Moore is living proof that women only get better with age.

A woman of so many varied accomplishments, the acting roles she takes on are always nuanced and sensitive to subject matter, diving deep in to the psyches of the women she portrays, beyond the superficial.  She has won oodles of awards for her acting prowess, rarely missing from any list of nominees at annual ceremonies. My favourite Julianne role is Maude in the Big Lebowski, a completely nuts English lady with a penchant for the word vagina and painting in the nude.  An absolute must see film. Alongside this she has written a number of children's books, aiming to give confidence and a sense of self acceptance to children finding it hard to fit in or overcome issues. What a woman!

Sartorially, Julianne on the red carpet and even in the street walking with her children, is always a ravishing little treat to look forward to. Her style has evolved over the years, always embracing that devastating combination of powder white skin and blazing strawberry tresses. In recent years she has also developed a close friendship with Tom Ford after starring in his directorial debut 'A Single Man' which has resulted in a few jaw dropping moments in front of the paparazzi flashbulbs. Contrary to usual advice given to redheads, she does and can pull off the brightest, most decadent colours like no other and at the same time shine in a LBD. I am admittedly obsessed with her look, a real tinkle of excitement washes over me when I spot her online in her latest get up. She stands out in a  crowd of Hollywood stars with no sign of fake tan or bleach or boob jobs anywhere.  A true natural beauty with class. 


Zara Hauling..

by Sophie Brown


As a Zara addict who resides in Liverpool, the past 5 months have been hard. The Zara store located in Liverpool One was cruelly taken from us over the summer months whilst it was being given a facelift, leaving a mammoth sized hole in the sartorial lives of many. But alas, it has reopened with a new spring in its step, ready to mock us with their small sizes and please our purse strings with reasonably priced pieces of high street chic. 

The first week it reopened, I bounced along to have a look at what they had done to the place. It has certainly been taken up a notch with a more polished, James Bond feel.  I cant put my finger on exactly what it is that has shifted the sands but it is a more enjoyable shopping experience now. Maybe it is the addition of a designated area for shoe trying on which also doubles up as a boyfriend/husband resting area. Only the other day, I accidentally stumbled backwards onto a forlorn looking man whilst trying on a towering sparkly heel.  He didn't enjoy it but it definitely gave me a giggle. 

This brings me onto my Zara haul. As predictable as it is to say, I literally wanted to buy everything. There are so many beautiful pieces in, a lot of great tailoring and fun boho pieces as well as chic work wear and low cost casual wear. The accessories are crazy cool and the shoes are just on a different playing field to others in UK stores. I bought a few carefully selected pieces as I was working with a budget.

My first buy is an example of the great tailoring Zara do for such good prices. I love the ruched , asymmetric detail at the bottom of the top and the tailored shoulders which make it a great smart work/going out piece. I will pair it with black skinny pants and heels for work, paring it down with jeans and boots at weekends. It feels so good on, like something Emmanuelle Alt would wear and that is an instant winner for me. 

Next up was something I had been ooooing and cooing over on Pinterest jewellery pages for so long. I found it hidden underneath a forest of cashmere scarfs, craziness I think as it is gorgeous and would sell much better if given a better spot in the shop.  I absolutely love earring cuffs, they are so elegant and simultaneously so cool. They add an edge to a formal going out look and look stunning when your hair is pulled back to see the full effect. I loved the one I bought below as it looks vintage, all tarnished gold and bejewelled and I plan to wear it a lot! At 12.99 it is also a piece of jewellery that looks more expensive than it is and not something that would be too devastating to loose due to the price point. 

The final piece of the Zara haul jigsaw is a pair of shoes but not just any pair of shoes. The shoes I have been searching for. If you are an Alexa Chung fan or just a shoe fan you may have seen the Bionda Castana lace up shoes that Alexa has been walking around town for a while. I loved them instantly, they are such a welcome and reviving change from the clumpy, obtrusive platform heels and boots that have been so popular recently. They are delicate and flattering and reminiscent of 90's Alaia footwear, my favourite.  They are in Khaki too which is cool as Khaki is a great neutral I think, flattering to most outfits and a bit warmer and playful than black.  Again, for 30 pounds, it isn't going to be too much of an issue if some clown decides to spill his JD and coke on you in a club. Great affordable and on trend footwear is Zara's forte and I salute them for it! 


Paris..the land of perennial beauty

by Sophie Brown


Last year, before I started this site, I visited Paris with my boyfriend (now fiance, wahey!) and fell deeply in love with it all. Quite obviously, the city dwellers were the epitome of chic and I would sit outside of cafes agog at the ease in which these peacocks of Paris showcased their beautiful style.  What impressed me most though was the way the city itself was dressed. How the architecture and the street art and the shop dwellings and everything surrounding us was composed in such an elegant and interesting manner.  It is a city where I could happily walk around for days, investigating every single street corner and crevice that came my way, not knowing what kind of beauty I was to find next. Whilst there, I took hundreds of photos, of all the details that caught my eye whether it be a renowned  statue or the vine leaves on the side of an apartment block (see pictures below). There is a respect and recognition for traditional architecture which is never compromised by the inevitable modernisation of aspects of life, that intrinsic feel for classic style is ever present in this city of lights. 

I like to imagine myself in a sweet pied-à-terre with bunches of ivy escaping down the balcony, eating fresh bread and cheese from the patisserie downstairs whilst watching the sun set behind the tall cage with lights, Le Eiffel Tower. Heaven. 



Not usually one for colour....

by Sophie Brown


But this campaign shot for the new Marques Almeida range for Topshop really caught my eye.  Beautiful collision of colours so bright and punchy. It has inspired me to maybe inject a little life into my uniform of navy and black. 


Have you found THE dress?

by Sophie Brown


Since being engaged I have been asked the same three questions almost on a daily basis. 1. Can I see the ring? 2. Have you set a date and 3. Have you found THE dress yet? 

I have been able to proclaim a big yes to all three apart from number 1 on the weekend my ring was being resized and therefore I could not show it off, making one of those finger wiggles engaged women do when showcasing the new finger bling. This was also when the dark murmur of my inner bridezilla began to be heard for the first time after having a mini meltdown when I picked the ring up from the jewellers and it didn't fit how I had expected. Not my finest moment, ask my mum.

So, lets focus on question three as I do indeed have my dress and I got it the week after I got engaged. It was the first thing I decided on and was most surprising as I am massively indecisive and cannot decide which socks to wear most days ( I have a true aversion to matching pairs). I began my search for a wedding dress approximately 52 hours after I got engaged and the first place I went was the dreamy ethereal land of Temperley online. All of their wedding dresses are at least three grand so this was some major wishful thinking going on. After placing myself firmly back in the real world, I looked on the sale section of the normal summer collection dresses and there was THE dress in the sale and at a ridiculously good price. All gorgeous and Temperley like. So I bought it. This brings me to my first tip for looking for a wedding dress, not that I am an expert but I do spend hours doing it every day.  Look at the dresses in your favourite designers ready to wear collections and on websites like The Outnet, not necessarily in the wedding section and look out for sales.  There are so many beautiful dresses that could be worn and adapted to your wedding day that aren't labelled as bridal. This often saves a major amount of money and you are more likely to look original on your big day. Also it is a bit of a thrill to land a dress for a bargain that maybe not a lot of other people have worn as a wedding dress. 

After purchasing THE dress of their dreams I  think if most brides are honest there is still a part of them that fawns after other dresses. With so much choice, its is impossible not to have a little bit of interest in other styles or wonder what if I had that dress or that headpiece or I wore something a bit racier or covered up my arms.  It could drive you doolally looking at all the gorgeousness surrounding weddings! A particular site that has had me in it's grips is Grace Loves Lace . This website will make you want to move to the Golden Coast and get married in a camper van to a surfer dude whilst wearing one of their amazing dresses. Luckily for me, the dresses are far too expensive so I don't have to worry about wanting one but If I could I would go for Inca.  It is the perfect bridal destination for a girl with a big budget and a hippy, dippy style and a great example of the temptation that can await once you have picked your dress. 

 It is a hard decision to make to decide what kind of bride you want to be as this will be a day where all eyes are on you and when your personal style is really defined. I feel my dress definitely reflects me and is something I will feel pretty and comfortable in which is important. I change my mind every day about how I want to accessorize my dress and how I will wear my hair and which 60's icon I want to resemble but I suppose this is the fun of it all and it is important to remember that the process should be fun, as it can get a bit much at times. The pressure is certainly on to look like a princess! I feel though that as long as you are comfortable in what you wear and feel good then you are sorted. I love to dance and run round and be free to flail my limbs with wild abandon so it was important for me to have a dress that wasn't restrictive. Remember, it is a long day and you will need to go to the toilet quite a bit so make sure you can get out of the dress yourself unless you want drunken relatives helping you in the loos. 

It is an obvious one I know but Pinterest is really great for these decisions as there is so much beautiful inspiration on there.  I have included a few of my favourite wedding dresses and styles below that I have found and pinned just as an example of my bridal style.  Enjoy! 


Toughen it Up

by Sophie Brown


I am not really one for following trends religiously or for copying verbatim what people wear but when it comes to Alexa Chung, I do feel serene tingles of pleasure when I find something similar to what she was worn and that I like and want to wear too. In this case, the thing that I have been inspired to purchase by Alexa is a silver chain link necklace, mine was from H&M for 6.99. Yes H&M is a blessed place for people on a budget. I have always been drawn to the simplicity and sturdiness of these style necklaces, toughening up and adding an edge to an outfit. I  like how in the picture below Alexa has teamed it with a very feminine floral shirt, I do love a bit of sartorial juxtaposition in an everyday get up! I teamed mine with a grey marl t shirt today, keeping it simple. I plan to wear it with a nice classic black dress and heels soon too. It is like an instant splash of attitude to any outfit and Alexa approved, what more could you want.