Spotlight on Helen Moore

Faux fur seems to be popping up all over the place at the moment; it comes without many of the ethical issues of real fur and, coming in a variety of colours, can often be more versatile than the real thing. Helen Moore is one brand that saw the potential of faux fur over 30 years ago and has been creating luxurious faux products ever since. This family run British company takes real care of its faux fur products and carefully manufactures all its designs right here in the UK. Helen Moore’s women’s accessories range from the traditionally stylish to the fashionably unique which makes this a faux fur brand for everyone. Want to incorporate a bit of on-trend fur into your winter wardrobe without going over the top? Helen Moore’s chic accessories could be just what you are looking for.

This winter Helen Moore’s stylish faux fur accessories include collars, muffs, scarves and even hats all of which presents the faux fur enthusiast with an array of furry styling options. The pieces come in a variety of colours and finishes meaning that whatever your style this winter Helen Moore have a piece for you. Traditionalists may want to opt for one of the brand’s more realistic looking faux styles whilst those after something a little more hip may find themselves drawn to modern, almost garish colours. This is a collection in which classic imitation ermine or wolf scarves and hats sit next to bright magenta clutches and powder blue collars. Whatever Helen Moore piece you select you are still presented with many a styling opportunity; the brand’s creations could be used to channel a fairytale-like look or give your outerwear a dose of rock ‘n’ roll glamour. With a Helen Moore piece you could play a Russian princess, a Hollywood star or decadent socialite, the choice is yours.

Faux fur is often seen as a rather low rent sartorial choice with such pieces often being viewed as of lesser quality than the ‘real thing’. Yet Helen Moore, with their attention to detail and commitment to British manufacturing, actually create faux pieces that are luxurious and desirable in their own right. When buying a faux fur piece from Helen Moore you are not settling for second best but purchasing a stylish and unique fashion accessory.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Tara Starlet

With its retro aesthetic and feminine designs Tara Starlet is a brand committed to making stylish clothes for confident women. Inspired by the glamour of yesteryear but created for the modern women the label’s clothes are wearable, chic and just a little bit sexy. Tara Starlet was founded by mother-daughter team Joanne and Tara Scott in 2005 and has gone from strength to strength, impressing both vintage bloggers and mainstream fashion publications alike. Based in London’s east end the brand still sources and produces all its garments right here in the UK. Yet for all Tara Starlet’s glamorous style and British roots the brand makes clothes that are not just wearable but also accessible and affordable. In short this is a fashion brand that creates empowering, stylish clothes that every woman can wear with ease.

Tara Starlet’s current collection features sexy glamorous designs that are ideal for the festive party season. Sensuous evening dresses, figure hugging wiggle skirts and smart trousers all present the Christmas party-goer with a myriad of outfit options. Tara Starlet’s designs are definitely vintage inspired and channel all the glamour of a bygone age and yet these are pieces that could also fit into a modern wardrobe. The brand’s retro style is distinctive but it is also refined enough not to be kitsch; these are not clothes for a costume party but garments you could easily wear on the streets today. By cherry-picking the best styles and silhouettes from the past past Tara Starlet ensures that all its pieces really fit and flatter the female form; these are clothes designed to make women look like golden age Hollywood starlets. In essence, Tara Starlet’s stylish but accessible designs are not only ideal for vintage devotees but also for any woman looking to add a little 20th century glamour to her 21st century wardrobe.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Cobra and Bellamy Christmas 2014

Looking for the perfect gift for a special someone this Christmas? A good quality classic watch always looks good under the Christmas tree and Cobra and Bellamy’s retro timepieces are ideal for festive gift giving. The brand’s vintage inspired watches channel all the glamour of the 1930s, 40s and 50s and yet would look perfectly chic on modern day wrists. Cobra and Bellamy have been creating stylish watches for both men and women for over 30 years and specialise in making beautiful and affordable timepieces. These are retro watches that could charm even the most tech obsessed analogue detractor. Packed full of nostalgia Cobra and Bellamy’s watches would suit both vintage lovers and those in search something a little different.

Cobra and Bellamy’s watches have a classic but accessible aesthetic; these are not overly opulent pieces crammed with jewels and expensive features but stylish simple watches for everyday wear. The brand’s watches are brimming with old-world charm with unique, quirky retro faces and timeless leather straps. Cobra and Bellamy’s women’s watches in particular possess a maturity, elegance rarely found in contemporary designs. Today watches have become as much accessories as timepieces and Cobra and Bellamy’s designs could really finish off an outfit. With their classic style these are timepieces that will last for years to come and even become favourite accessories. Cobra and Bellamy’s timepieces may not be as flashy or luxurious as many of the watches around today but they do have an elegant, understated chic all of their own.

Watches are a pretty traditional gift and may even seem like a bit of a boring choice at times but Cobra and Bellamy’s unique designs are a new, paradoxically vintage, twist on an oft given present. These are watches that combine style and elegance with accessibility and durability making them ideal Christmas gifts. These are, in short, good quality watches that would be appreciated by almost anyone.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Air and Grace

Beautiful shoes can make a woman feel great, at least mentally, physically shoes can really hurt. Shoe designer Claire Burrows decided to create stylish contemporary shoes for women to wear all day long with impunity and so she launched her own brand Air and Grace. Each pair of the brand’s shoes feature soles made of cleverly hidden layers of memory foam which makes the shoes comfortable and wearable. This unique system also ensures that Air and Grace can focus on the aesthetics of their shoes without compromising on comfort. These shoes are miles away from the ugly, comfortable footwear often presented as an alternative to more mainstream designs. In short Air and Grace’s creations have all the style and desirability of fashionable footwear but come without the same aches and pains.

This season Air and Grace’s collection is made up of functional but stylish shoes ideal for a cold busy winter. On trend styles such as loafers and ankle boots ensure that these are shoes that would easily compliment a contemporary wardrobe. There is not a high heel or stiletto in sight making this a collection for running errands rather than attending parties. These are shoes created for those with busy lifestyles; women who have to run for the bus rather than those who spend the day in taxis. Yet for all their practicality Air and Grace’s shoes are also very attractive with the brand sticking to classic, fuss free but up to date designs. Classic shapes and styles give the shoes durability whilst trendy flourishes such as chunky buckles, leopard print and metallic finishes give the shoes an edgy contemporary feel.

Many women like to fantasise about their dream pair of heels but in the real world we all need shoes that can put up with rigours of daily life and do so in style. Air and Grace provide just such footwear; their pieces may not but glamorous but they are, nevertheless, very appealing.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Cocorose’s AW14 Collection

Heels vs Flats; where do you stand? Heels are undoubtedly the more glamorous shoe option but flats are comfortable, practical and can be just as stylish as a pair of stilettos. From slippers to brogues flats are definitely ‘in’ at the moment but can the humble flat imbue a party outfit with the same appeal as a pair of high heels? London born brand Cocorose certainly think so; their luxurious, innovative, ballet pump inspired flats are the perfect combination of form and function making them ideal for the festive season. Cocorose’s signature pumps can be folded and easily stored away in handbags or draws until they are needed. This novel design gives the wearer the freedom to wear their comfy flats wherever and whenever they like. Cocorose’s shoes are stylish enough to fit any dressy outfit and yet their unique design gives them far more practicality than a regular party shoe.

This season Cocorose have used metallic finishes, embellishment and brogue-like detailing to create a collection that is both on trend and ideal for parties and nights out. The brand’s pumps and slippers manage to combine luxury and practicality with is something that few shoes do; these are shoes that look designer but yet are also fit for everyday wear.  In essence Cocorose’s flats are the perfect emergency shoes; these are pumps one can hid away for special occasions or sudden style dilemmas. Received a surprise party invitation? Broken a heel minutes before going out? Then Cocorose’s designs could be your style saviour.

Flats are functional enough as it is but Cocorose’s foldable designs add an extra layer of practicality making them the shoe of choice for busy but style conscious shoe lover. Cocorose’s shoes are certainly attractive enough to wear to a party but they are also sensible enough to wear again and again.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Llunaa

New, London based brand Llunaa is committed to creating good quality contemporary womenswear. Their feminine and fashionable designs are wearable and elegant but also vibrant and modern; these are clothes that allow women to express their own personality and taste. Llunaa pieces are more sophisticated that what you generally find on the high street yet they also come with a refreshingly affordable price tag. This is fashion that could fit quite easily into a stylish, contemporary wardrobe and stay there for quite a while. This is not clothing that will go out of fashion in a couple of months but that will stay current for seasons to come. In essence Llunaa’s is a brand that tries its very best to provide women with clothing that meets all their needs and fulfils all their desires.

Llunaa’s current collection features chic knitwear and ultra feminine day and eveningwear. The label’s aesthetic is distinctly modern with peplum tops, embellishment and scallop edges all making an appearance. Llunaa’s pieces also have a youthful, almost naive, feel in places; elegant the brand’s designs may be but they also have a sweetness and vitality all of their own.  All of this gives label’s clothes a versatility that makes them ideal for modern life; a Llunaa sweater could dress up a pair of jeans or winter proof a girly skirt. Of course the label’s pretty, feminine style also makes their clothes a perfect fit for the party season. Whether you are after a casual ensemble or a more glamorous outfit Llunaa will get you through the stressful festive period in style.

Llunaa is certainly one brand that puts customer first; all their pieces are designed with the youthful but discerning modern woman in mind. In short if you have been searching for clothing that is of good quality, fashionable and affordable then Llunaa is the brand for you.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Sloane Stationery

There is something unmistakably seductive about beautiful, luxury stationery; you simply cannot beat the look or feel of a classic leather bound journal or notebook. In a world of touch screens and monitors old fashioned stationery is beginning to become rarer and rarer. Fortunately luxury stationery brand Sloane Stationery uses age old book binding techniques to produce high quality notebooks and diaries. Founded by Nathalie Vaandrager with the aim of bringing the traditional craft of book binding into the 21st century Sloane Stationery manufacture all their pieces right here in the UK. This is a company committed, not only to creating elegant and stylish stationary but also to preserving time-honoured skills and techniques.

Luxury stationary can often seem a bit serious and austere but Sloane’s products are unique in that they actually posses a both a sense of humour and an individuality all of their own. Slogans such as “Masterful Inactivity” and “Man Walks Into A Bar” adorn their notebooks whilst astrological signs give some of their 2015 diaries a quirky look.  This is classic stationery with a twist; a Sloane Stationery notebook is designed not only to be written in but also to make you smile. That said this is certainly not novelty stationery; the brand’s use of traditional finishes and restrained typography gives their pieces a stylish and iconic air. These are notebooks and diaries with a touch of whimsy rather than disposable joke stationery.

With Christmas now just weeks away Sloane Stationery’s witty but refined products would make excellent presents. This is stationery that would not look out of place on even the most professional desk and yet is also designed to make its owner smile. High end stationery can often add a touch of luxury to an office but Sloane Stationery’s creations add a little fun as well.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Lily and Me

Based in the South West of England family owned brand Lily and Me combine beautiful textile design with considered detailing to create unique, stylish clothing. The brand’s dresses are delightfully feminine but also wearable and even functional; these are clothes that would fit into many a contemporary wardrobe. Lily and Me’s designs strike a perfect balance between the quirky and the accessible making them easy to wear but also unique. This is clothing with heart and a distinctly laid back, British feel with Lily and Me’s dresses looking as stylish in the countryside as they do in city.

Lily and Me’s pieces may be feminine and even pretty in places but they are also refreshingly fuss-free. These are dresses and tunics designed to be worn on a daily basis; this is clothing that can be thrown on over jeans or leggings or layered up under cosy knits. The brand uses clever design and inventive nips, tucks and stitching to create flattering silhouettes that really celebrate the female form without being too showy or immodest. This season the label uses features such as draping and cowl necks to give their pieces a pretty but flattering feel.  The result is dresses and tunics that look completely different to what you generally see on the high street and yet that would make a great addition to any contemporary wardrobe. Lily and Me’s relaxed aesthetic is further enhanced by their use of unique prints and a calming colour palette; these are clothes that, paradoxically, manage to be interesting and unassuming at the same time.

Unfussy but interesting, wearable but quirky Lily and Me’s designs are ideal for the woman in search of something different but accessible. This is a brand with a unique style but also an understanding of the female form. In essence these are cute, stylish clothes that would suit women of all shapes and sizes.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Mudd and Water

Organic womenswear brand Mudd and Water are truly committed to ethical clothing; this is a brand that makes sure that all their laid back designs are both sustainable and attractive. Mudd and Water are particularly devoted to the use of organic cotton with the brand’s name even being inspired by the cotton farming process itself. Just as mud and water nurture cotton plants so Mudd and Water the brand nurtures its sustainable designs. As a result the label’s clothes have a down to Earth charm all of their own. These are pretty, easy to wear garments for women in search of style as well as substance. Free from fuss and fast fashion trends Mudd and Water’s clothes are miles away from the identikit clothing found on the high street.

Mudd and Water’s designs feature simplistic, attractive prints and relaxed but feminine silhouettes; this is casual clothing with an attractive girly edge. This is not fashion for the office or nights out on the town but rather for days off and relaxed weekends. The brand’s current offering includes laid back dresses, flattering tunics, appeal tees and cosy knitwear. Sticking to a dark but calming colour palette of dusky pinks, neutrals, blues and greys; floral and animal prints as well as colour blocking are all utilised by the brand, albeit in a muted way. All of which makes Mudd and Water’s designs ideal for a comfortable, casual winter wardrobe. Hassle free yet pretty the label’s pieces would make great wardrobe basics; these are clothes that can be layered up, thrown on and worn with complete ease.

If you are looking for casual clothing with ethical credentials Mudd and Water is the brand for you. In essence Mudd and Water mix laid back, comfy and attractive design with a commitment to ethical and sustainable principles which, to many an ethical fashion lover must seem like a pretty irresistible combination.

-Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Faux England

Real fur generally comes with a huge price tag and a lot of controversy. Faux fur on the other hand has all the classic style of traditional fur but with none of the ethical issues. With decades of experience within the faux fur industry Faux England produces some of the best cruelty free furs on the market. Faux is a brand dedicated to creating elegant, luxurious faux fur pieces that could easily rival real fur. This faux fur that recalls the iconic coats and jacket of yesteryear; think Anna Karenina and golden age Hollywood glamour. With winter just on the horizon Faux England’s furry outerwear could be just what you need to get you through the winter months in style.

Faux England’s current collection features chic coats, feminine gilets and stylish jackets in a variety of finishes. Fox, mink and husky are all cleverly mimicked by the brand meaning that whatever your faux fur desires Faux England have it covered. The company sticks, almost religiously, to a classic aesthetic; feminine and glamorous these are coats and jackets imbued with all the allure of the exclusive furs of the past. These are furs with a distinctly vintage vibe, furs that one could use to channel Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe. A Faux England fur could add a little class to a pair of jeans during the day but would also make an opulent finishing touch a party outfit.

Fur never really goes out of style but in this modern age the ethical implications and high price make real fur an unpalatable to many. Faux fur brands such as Faux England provide an appealing alternative; this is stylish ‘fur’ that any woman can wear with pride. Faux’s designs may have all the charm and glamour vintage furs but they are also ideal for a contemporary winter wardrobe.

-Hannah Balsdon