Lula Loves…and so do we

UK fashion magazine Lula is celebrating its 5th birthday this month in its own inimitable style (gently kitsch, sugary-sweet…roll out the soft focus, add a wash of dreamy haze and stir in some guileless sexuality…) with a Lula Loves pop-up shop in collaboration with the colossus of retail aristocracy Harvey Nichol’s.

The store – designed and produced by Fiona Leahy and curated by Lula founder Leith Clark –  features a selection of Clark’s (soon to be your) favourite things including one-off pieces by Rodarte, Erdem, Charles Anastase, Miu Miu, Lover and Sonia Rykiel, some insanely covetable cult archive revivals (notably the Miu Miu glitter shoe) as well as a selection of books and music from the renowned artist/ writer/ film maker Liz Goldwyn and the insanely talented illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve along with other illustrious members of the Clarkian inner-circle (Derek Blasberg, Melissa Auf Der Mauer…)

The whole set up, found in the newly opened concept space on the fourth floor, is sheer Lula magic – a celebration of the ethereal, whimsical and beautiful. Well (I’m not sure how much I can stress this!) worth a visit, even if it is only to briefly exchange the non-stop monotony of the real world for a nostalgic jaunt through a sigh-provoking wonderland.
In fact I love it so much I’m considering relocating from my beloved E2 to planet Lula.

Images with profuse thanks to Style Bubble; click through to view more Lula gorgeousness (one of these days I shall get my hands on a half decent camera) and/or for the inside scoop (plus pics) on the launch night head over to Fashion Bite.

The Lula Loves pop-up shop is open in-store and online until the 1st August.

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Christopher Kane for Versus: The 2010 Comeback

Cheryl Cole in Versus a/w 2010

Christopher Kane reprises his role as the sartorial resurrection man of the moment with his second collection for Versace’s freshly revived Versus line. After five years in fashion exile the Versus label reemerged from ignominy with a s/s collection firmly rooted in classic Versace – the references were blindingly obvious (safety pins – THAT Liz Hurley dress) yet delivered with the precise, edgy and multi-thematic aplomb we’ve come to expect from Kane.

In short? An absolute corker of a comeback from the house of Versace which simultaneously managed to steer clear of staid imitation and pretty much nailed the market in deliciously dark  and debonair party wear.

Versus s/s 2010

The Fall collection picks up on the punky diffidence of s/s and dives deeper into a Kaneian meme playoff with an unsettling mix of balletic beauty and fierce bondage, which firmly establishes subversion as the idée du jour this autumn.

Fetish just got girly with stiffly pleated satin frocks plumped to perfection with lolita-esque organza petticoats, striking lingerie inspired cutaways and stark structured jackets, graphic tees and cocktail body con – a marvellously irreverent pick and mix of dress uniform formality and rock and roll indifference.

Versus Fall 2010

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Look du Jour: Short Chic

Black bandeau, cheeky high-waisted turn-ups foxed up with devil-may care flounce of a scarf = super simplicity and effortless, understated über cool.

This is how to wear your 2010 shorts: casual, rough-around-the-edges and festival ready…

I couldn’t possibly let this one go without mentioning the hair: Courtney Love 90’s grunge-shag meets red-hot über siren Florence Welch’s boho show-stopper of a barnet. Need I say LOVE?!  Citified summer chic doesn’t get much easier (or more sexy) than this!

Photograph/ Styling by Erika A: Check out Erika’s blog or her fabulous Flickr for more inspo!

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Game. Set. Match.

Another glorious day, another sporting fixture, another excuse to ogle the honed, toned and physically well-coordinated. Yes it’s Wimbledon – you’ll have to forgive me for keeping quiet on the World Cup front: static generating nylon nasties have absolutely no role in my wardrobe whatsoever (although kudos deservingly goes to Paraguay for their knockout  homage to Pippi Longstocking).

Tennis on the other hand serves up a wealth of classically chic sportif separates for the discerning fashionista (not to mention the associated accessory boom – shin pads? No thank you….chic cream fingerless leather gloves…? Well, go on then).

Think refined elegance and channel Gaultier’s take on the trend for Hermès: virginal pleating, cable knits and effortlessly stylish palazzo pants. Accessorize court-side with a visor, sweat bands and that all important ivory Birkin

For the ultimate in sports-casual sophistication embrace long-line, ankle-skimming maxis to femme-up those ubiquitous masculine shirt shapes.

FYI: Sweat (as if a Hermès girl would – could?) and rackets are an accessory too far…leave the rackets to the runways and the sweat to the pros: the key is to keep this look sleek, fresh and well away from the dreaded realm of fancy dress faux pas-dom.

Photographs courtesy of Style.com

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Nicholas Kirkwood for Liberty

When I first heard about this collaboration back in January I must admit to doing a goofy little dance in sheer jubiliation…a Kirkwood capsule collection, signature structural platforms, ravishingly resplendent in mouth-wateringingly gorgeous Liberty prints? (Yes. Want. Please.)

Bounty Platform Sandal

Santa Maria Platform Sandal

Santa Maria Peep Toe Shoe

The collection, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Liberty’s Carnaby Street store, features two iconic Liberty florals – the Bounty and the Santa Maria – in two eponymous Kirkwood styles;  architectural cutaway platform sandals with super chic cigarette heels, or the classic peep toe pump.

Available now exclusively at Liberty stores and on the Liberty website…get hot-footing: a Kirkwood shoe is the shoe-lover’s shoe…they’re unlikely to hang around!

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Look du Jour: Frock Fantasy

I’m in the mood for some pretty, powder-pink, airy-fairy, cute-as-a-button, princess frock frivolity. Give me fantasy, daydreams and a romp through the wilderness with a knight in super sharp Armani paired with Grenson brogues wielding anything but a man bag…sigh. Otherworldly escapism with a side order of whimsy please – and hold the fainting (damsel in distress? Me thinks not).

Back to the outfit – a minxy thigh-skimmer of a hemline, peep-toe neutral wedges and socks and nailing the hot as hell asymmetric trend (look to 3.1 Phillip Lim and RM by Roland Mouret for references) this look couldn’t be more now. Details wise, the chic frayed edging of the under-shorts is VERY Prada’s s/s 2010 distressed graphic silks; deconstruction contrasted to perfection with the Rodarte-esque romance of that diaphanous one-sleeve wonder.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me…I’ve a wilderness to get back to…

Photograph/ Styling by Frida Johnson: Blog

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GFW 2010! Bunmi Olaye

Alas! Much to my ever-present shame, I am unable to attend one of my favourite fashion events of the season! (Drat, drat and double drat!) It’s been a case of work stops play with a good solid roundhouse kick to the face and the perpetually waggling finger of authority…

So, for those who didn’t know already, GFW 2010 kicked off yesterday with the Graduate catwalk collections from the University of East London, and with over 1000 students all vying for sartorial acclaim, glory and the River Island £20,000 Gold Award, the competition is (as always) fierce, or maybe – FIERCE. But, as in all things there are frontrunners, and UEL’s frontrunner has got to be – in fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here, ISBunmi Olaye.

With work experience under the late Alexander McQueen, her own label – Bunmi Koko and a celebrity clientèle list longer than your arm, including Mischa Barton, current muse Mel B and Alesha Dixon, the future is already looking blinding for Nigerian designer Bunmi, and with just a quick glance at her collections it’s easy to see why…

Matriarchy, Bunmi’s GFW collection, draws inspiration from a patriarchal Nigerian cult practised by members of the Efik tribe and fuses that with the seemingly antithetical aesthetic principles of Victorian womenswear with its focus on cinched waists, voluminous sleeves and high collars.

Matriarchy, in Bunmi’s own words, is about “[…]power, royalty, status and ultimate femininity […] a collection that is luxurious and feminine, with a wild and untamable spirit influenced by the masquerade.”

Matriarchy is also set for exhibition at the upcoming Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg from 30th June-3rd July.

Geisha’s Reform, the latest RTW collection from Bunmi Koko with its sumptuously crafted homage to shape and structure in traditional Japanese clothing and Western Art Deco architecture, is quite simply awe-inspiring…

Head over to xolqrcexo for more on this absolutely astounding up-and-coming designer…or check out the Bunmi Koko website &/or the Bunmi Koko Facebook Page.

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