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Fantastic Mr Fox – Mulberry’s Fox Lock bag

October 4, 2011

Mulberry Fox Lock Bag Autumn/Winter 2011
Both the health of my bank balance and my chances of catching some winter sun were looking pretty precarious today, as Mulberry’s Fantastic Mr Fox-esq Fox Lock bag became available on the online store.

Replacing the traditional Postman’s Lock with a crafted fox head, this Autumn/Winter 2011 update on the traditional Alexa satchel is all too enticing in a shade of fox brown and clocks in at a cool £1,000.

The Tillie has held the number one spot on my wishlist since it came on the scene, but, with this cute crafted fox in place of the traditional Postman’s Lock – which I’ve never really been into – the Alexa is starting to look much more enticing.


And you’re back in the room

October 4, 2011

After a temporary hiatus, I Spy Style is back.

After a busy summer of launching beauty products and a new collaboration with a Michelin-starred chef, watch this space for content surrounding interpretations of Autumn/Winter 2011 as and when they hit the rails and a steady stream of posts unravelling Spring/Summer 2012 and beyond.

The Summer That Was
Exploring the Gothenburg Archipelago
Exploring islands along the Gothenburg Archipelago
Kulturkalaset arts festival in Gothenburg, August 2011
The Kulturkalaset arts festival in Gothenburg
Sunbathing in Salthomen, Gothenburg
Sunbathing in Salthomen, Gothenburg

What did everyone else get up to?


Project Ocean

May 22, 2011

Katharine Hamnett Project Ocean for Selfridges

It’s not too often that a huge fashion brand stops and takes the time to remind us of the world’s fragility, but having been raised by vegans it’s something that immediately commands my respect.

The debate surrounding the sustainability of seafood has become en vogue recently, following projects like Channel 4’s ‘Big Fish Fight,’ a series of documentaries touching on the ethics surrounding the fishing industry, led by some of the country’s most famous chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

And now Selfridge’s has got on board with Project Ocean, a campaign which highlights the sustainability debate surrounding the world fishing industry.

The project has been launched with a capsule collection of gorgeous slogan t-shirts, tote bags and towels by ethically-conscious designer Katharine Hamnett.

Priced at a cool £40, the shirts boast statements like ‘No More Fish In The Sea?’ ‘Stop And Think’ and ‘Save The Sea,’ and not only highlight the issue but drag the debate even further up the trend barometers.

But it doesn’t end there. Over the next few months, Selfridges has planned numerous events and partnerships to highlight the issue.
Philip Treacy Crystal Lobster Hat Worn by Lady Gaga
Esteemed fashion curator Judith Clarke has created her own surreal interpretation of the project, with Washed Up, a collection of some of the most intriguing ocean-inspired fashion pieces, including Philip Treacy’s iconic crystal lobster hat (as famously worn by Lady Gaga.) The Ultralounge in Selfridges London will play host to these and other surreal pieces, including precious trinkets, antique treasures and accessories from designers like Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler and more.

Meanwhile, conceptualist artist Beth Derbyshire will be showcasing ‘Seven Seas,’ a series of seven, seven minute long films documenting seven seascapes from around the world. Both exhibitions will be showcased in the Selfridges London Ultralounge until 8 June.

Selfridges Project Ocean window by B.Alter
Photo by B.Alter.

A range of top chefs, including Antonio Carluccio, Tom Aitkens, Fergus Henderson, Cyrus Todiwala and Giorgio Locatelli will also be running seafood-themed cooking demonstrations throughout the two month campaign, and even teamed the NME has got on board, with a series of Project Ocean gigs by young upstarts like The Sounds and Young Rebel Set at the Selfridges London store.

But Selfridges haven’t just taken the soft option – one of the most striking aspects of the campaign is the close collaboration between the department store and key organisations like Greenpeace, the WWF and the Marine Conservation Society. Twenty years ago, eco organisations were the territories of dreadlocked hippies and were seldom referenced by leading designers, so it’s really refreshing to see how ingrained they are in this project.

Selfridges Project Ocean window by Smudgetikka
Photo by Smudgetikka

Something that is even more impressive is the event that Selfridges have chosen to close the initiative.

On 8 June 2011, Project Ocean draws to with the GLOBE World Oceans Day Parliamentarian’s Summit, which will see legislators from the 27 Member States of the EU descending on Selfridges London with the aim of achieving consensus on sustainable reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Whoever said fashion was a frivolous game? This is retail activisim at its best.

You can find out more about Project Ocean on the Selfridges website, donate to the project “>here , or download the fab free iPhone app, which provides a guide for choosing sustainable options while shopping or eating out, here.

Mulberry celebrates 40 years of quintessential British style

May 15, 2011

Back 1971, the first British lifestyle brand, Mulberry, put down its roots in the humble Somerset countryside.

40 years later, Mulberry has been crowned Designer Brand of the Year, boasts some of the world’s best dressed as dedicated fans and has just moved its HQ to a swanky Kensington postcode. In spite of this worldwide success, the brand’s dedication to quintessential anglo style is still going strong, and the label remains one of the last luxury brands in the country to keep a British factory.

One of the things I’ve always found so hypnotic about Mulberry is the seamless combination of traditional British country style with chic citywear.

Flicking through some of my favourite Mulberry moments from recent years, I can’t help but tip a teacup to one of British fashion’s greatest success stories.

Mulberry Fall 2006 (Heather Bratton, Romina Lanaro, Hugo Sauzay)

Mulberry Spring 2007 (Agyness Deyn, Karen Elson, Jamie Strachan)

Mulberry Spring 2008 (Maryna Linchuk, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Stan Ripley)

Mulberry Spring 2008 (Maryna Linchuk, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Stan Ripley)

Mulberry Autumn 2010
Mulberry Fall 2010

Mulberry Fall 2010

The new flagship store at 50 New Bond Street, London
Flagship Mulberry store at 50 New Bond Street, London

The Autumn/Winter 2011/12 collection at London Fashion Week
Mulberry Autumn/Winter 2011 collection at London Fashion WeekMulberry Autumn/Winter 2011 collection at London Fashion Week

Clémence Poésy, Kirsten Dunst and Olivia Palermo adorn the front row of Mulberry’s Autumn/Winter 2011/12 show
Olivia Palermo, Clemence Poesy, Kirsten Dunst on the front row of Mulberry Autumn/Winter 2011/12 show

Bank Holiday fun

May 9, 2011

The May Bank Holiday marked the Royal Wedding and my final days of leisure before starting my new job.

On Friday, after watching the Royal Wedding and admiring the dress (although I was wholly more taken with the page boy costumes if I’m totally honest – I loved the Disney-esq grandeur,) my friends and I dressed hot to trot in 1940s gear and attended the Northern Quarter Street Party in Manchester. I even wore my fringe in a victory curl on my forehead (although you can’t really see it here.)

The whole event was themed to reflect the decade, and there were heaps of people who turned out in fancy dress. There was even a 1940s military jeep and a British bulldog with a Union Jack flag tied around his neck.
Northern Quarter Street Party - 27 April 2011
We danced, drank Pimms and had our photographs taken in front of an antique ice cream van for the Independent on Sunday (I’ll scan the page if it makes the feature.)
The Mayor of Manchester even complimented my friend on her hat!
Northern Quarter Street Party 27 April 2011
Northern Quarter Street Party 2011, Manchester
Northern Quarter Street Party, Manchester 27 April 2011

A palette for Spring/Summer 2011

April 28, 2011

When Topshop first launched their make-up range, I was a little sceptical.

Despite their monstrously successful clothing line, I was doubtful as to whether what at first seemed like a ‘me too!’ make-up range would have much to impress me with, particularly at the prices they were offering (call me tight, but, for some reason, £5 is about 50p out of what I’d pay for a nail varnish by a brand I’m feeling doubtful about.)

Several bottles and a few months in, I’m convinced.

The palette of colours they have produced so far is enviable. Unlike many leading beauty brands, Topshop appear to be devoting more of their line to risqué, on trend shades than the old fail safes that dominate so many collections (the only truly classic colours they currently have on the shelves are black and a clear base coat.)

The polishes glide on with little mess, dry reasonably quickly for a brand that doesn’t boast ‘fast drying’ on the bottle and are fairly chip resistant for the price.

In addition to Spring/Summer 2011’s obligatory shade of startling yellow (‘Summit’), the current line boasts an eye-catching neon pink (‘Remember My Name’), a near-nude peach (‘Play For Keeps’) and a delectable, near silver shade of violet (‘Parma Violet.’)

Topshop Nail Varnish in 'Summit'Topshop Nail Varnish in 'Remember My Name'Topshop Nail Varnish in 'Parma Violet'Topshop Nail Varnish in 'Play For Keeps'

Normal posting to resume from now

April 26, 2011

I’m just about to complete an entire month of rest and relaxation, in which I’ve had family visiting, spent time in my hometown, Nottingham, visited my Goddaughter, enjoyed leisurely afternoons pouring over the weekend supplements in sunny parks and started planning a Euro trip for the summer.

This is how it looked:

The boy at Fletcher Moss, Manchester

Cherry blossoms at Fletcher Moss, Manchester

The Bodega Social Club, Nottingham

In a word, it’s been bliss.