Thursday, 30 August 2012

Downsizing Handbag Style

I spend my days working my way through wardrobes which have lost their fashion way, are too chock full to be user friendly or are simply in need of a bit of organisational love so it was a shock when the tables were turned on me.

A few weeks ago I went to a Thirsty Thursday event and had a complimentary shoulder massage from the lovely team at Harmony Hill, a social enterprise based in Leeds. There were numerous knots in my back plus a searing pain over my left shoulder . When asked why I thought this was I said I had no idea. Then the lady picked up my handbag. With a huge heave she lifted it an inch from the floor. Fixing me with a knowing look she replied incredulously "really? Which hand is your bag hand?" Answers on a postcard please! I admit it - I am not a small bag person. When I lived in London I used a weekend bag as my everyday handbag. And with all that lushness of space what is a girl to do? Fill it, that's what. My go to bag for the past few months has been a vintage shop find which I have filled. To capacity:

So that's all the basics which then get added to on a daily basis. Sunny weather? Add sunglasses and sun cream. Nippy out? Two scarves (one knitted, one silk or cotton) and a jumper. Plus my camera for client days and numerous pens and pads for scribblings.

With the threat of looking like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame looming large I was forced to re-asses my arm candy and I was lucky enough to find this classic clutch from Whistles. It feels divine and works with most of my wardrobe. It does feel a bit like a man bag but I think that's just me missing the big ol' bag of yore. 

I have downsized successfully for one week now (thumbs skyward!) and even though there are days when only a mega bag will do, long may the minimalism of arm candy continue. 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

I love scarves, I wear them, I write about them

Heaving bosoms just aren’t my thing (think Elizabeth Bennett in BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice and the infamous Regency Empire Line). 

Now being a curvy hourglass, old school style rules dictate that I suit ‘Deep V necks’ thus giving my breasts a good outing. No thanks. This is where my love of scarves stems from – covering up my prominent chest minus the high neckline. I LOVE scarves. Over the years I have collected Hermes, Liberty, charity shop offerings and inherited a trunk full to bursting from my Nana. I always carry a scarf in my handbag. I always have a spare scarf tucked away in the wardrobe mobile. So, as you can imagine, I was beyond excited to meet Laura Orchant, purveyor of luxury printed goods including the most tantalising range of scarves I have seen for a long time.

Inspired by the natural world, her designs are beautifully cataclysmic and thoroughly trippy. Which makes sense when you consider most of the prints were conceived at 5am “a great time to work – my thoughts are so free flowing.”  Taking inspiration from “fireworks, Morocco, lights, nature” Laura uses photos (she always carries her camera should inspiration strike) and memories (hence why a past holiday Morocco is listed as an inspiration) to begin the process. Line drawing sketches, which she manipulates in Photoshop, turn into the truly magnificent digital prints which are then printed onto silk and hand hemmed. Luxury doesn’t even cover it. Take a look at the Sunset Firework scarf (personal favourite) through the magnifying glass in the online shop and you can see the intricate detail: vibrant bursts of colour contrasting with the rich luminosity of the firework streaking across the silk.

This young British designer doesn’t wait around: only recently graduating from Ravensbourne in July, Laura Orchant’s SS13 collection is already available to purchase from her website. Go now. At least have a look. And a little fashion lust.