Sunday, 20 March 2011

Luella’s Guide to English Style by Luella Bartley: A Review

A concoction of wit and humour with English fashion thrown in, Luella defines the scope of English style that is entrenched in heritage, riding jackets, wellies and let’s not forget that great British fashion icon; the Queen. Luella’s Guide to English Style is beautifully bound in a rustic hardback book embellished with gold lettering and a contrasting saccharine pink book mark. The eclectic British style is practically radiating from the covers of this delightful read.

Throughout the guide Bartley explores the English style from a number of angles, if somewhat inconsistently provides an incandescent and amusing representation of what Bartley dubs as the ‘British Bird’. Style geniuses are identified through the likes of Lily Allen, Vivienne Westwood and Princess Anne which although semi-reductionist provides an interesting approach to the definition of British style. The text is accompanied by characterful sketches of said style icons illustrated by Zoe Taylor and Daniel Laidler which along with the binding, give the guide coffee table couture value and a personal style of its own. Luella’s guide is written with a playful awareness of its subject and often provides an insider’s perspective of members of the fashion industry with reminiscences of Kate Moss’s laugh and the living with fashion editor; Katie Grand.

Whilst this provides a fascinating slant on English style, it also means that Luella’s Guide is prone to sweeping generalisations of British fashion and offers a mostly uni-cultured view of the so-called “British Bird” which appears to be mostly middle-class horsey-types from the royal counties. This book is in truth a guide to Luella’s personal style. This is certainly the case when Bartley begins to adopt the pseudonym of Miss E (English) in order to characterise her British Bird’s style. In the Seven Stages of Style chapter, Bartley depicts the evolving nature of the English girl’s style from school into Motherhood. However, it isn’t long before the notorious “Miss E” takes on a life solely mirroring that of Bartley’s herself opposed to the average English girl as she dashes around London and has an accidental pregnancy at the age of thirty.

Overall this guide is an enjoyable romp through the ages of the English woman and will entertain all who find an appeal in wellies, riding jackets and other cultural icons of eclectic English style. This book is a representation of the charming form in which Bartley can now enchant the fashion crowds. It is clear that the label of Luella is still alive and well.   

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Friday, 15 October 2010

ethereal lace

I had promised to show you my inspired piece from the tba collection, but I am having mild computer issues. Instead I thought I would share a recent thrift-find...

I love the layering of this dress, although it is quite transparent despite the slip. Think I'm going to need to find another less see-through slip to replace it with before I can wear it, other than that its lovely.

I really need to be getting on and writing my dissertation, but at the moment it's procrastination time. I annoy myself! This weekend I'm going to take a little break from work so I can be fresh eyed and bushy tailed starting Monday (this, however, is the way of the procrastinator, always planning things for another day).

Hmmm, I might even make more pumpkin pie, I love October activities.

Right I'm actually going to be productive now. Have a beautiful weekend.


Thursday, 14 October 2010

oh alexa...

So this is a super late ode to Alexa for Madewell, but better late than never right?

Partly, I just like this image, what lovely green grass and glorious daisies. But no, really this dress is just amazing. Black velvet and a beautiful peter pan collar. It is quite special. So sad, I wish there was Madewell in the UK. A little bird told me we were going to get Forever 21 over here, is this a good thing? I hear it's kind of like a Primark/ New Look hybrid, could be interesting. Definitely curious!

I previously posted about sewing an inspired tba velvet dress (its all about velvet dresses and collars at the moment for me if you hadn't already noticed!). The dress is finished and I shall be posting some pretty pics tomorrow once I've cleared some space from my camera.


Monday, 11 October 2010

favourite things post...window boxes

At the moment I am in love with window boxes, crazy I know, I really must be having a somewhat late/ early spring phase...

sooo pretty, especially this last one. I know it's more of just a box, but it gives me hope that you don't need a special window for it, maybe I could get a flower basket instead...hmmm


Alexandra Grecco Spring 2011

I know it's pretty early to be writing about Spring 2011 but I already feel inspired by this beautiful Alexandra Grecco film for next year. It's ethereal magic is absolutely darling.


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

dress inspired by tba...

So the tba dress on the left is my favourite piece in the A/W10 collection and I am determined to make a dress using this as inspiration. 

This weekend I went back to my home town and bought my fabric and thread (which I have left at the boys, so no pics I'm afraid!) and I even have a pattern with a yoke design element in it which is perfect.

My only problem is the pattern I have is a size too small for me so I'm going to be spending the next few weeks attempting to alter it to fit me. Wish me luck! I shall be updating again very shortly with how this project is going!