Archive for the ‘Designer Fashions’ Category

Behind the bag, Behind the bag, Designer Fashions, Features, Uncategorized

Behind The Bag: The Cath Kidston Nappy Bag

By Daisy Buchanan on August 1st, 2013

CathKidston 190“I will never be that dude, dude,” is what Carolyn said to Alexa the first time they went to Mothercare together. They planned to embrace parenthood on their own terms – Hackney baby raves, A.P.C. baby clothes, and absolutely no free Pret Babyccinos. Twee was the enemy – and after their distressingly modern friends Lara and Lou started dressing their newborn as the Doily Infanta, they knew they had to guard against it at all costs.

The Cath Kidston nappy bag was a tease. Alexa bought it for Carolyn online because she didn’t want anyone to spot her going into the shop. Carolyn opened it and laughed for seven solid minutes. But it proved a source of distraction at breakfast. “It’s so capacious,” murmured Carolyn, stroking the lacquered cotton and counting pockets.

Now that baby Wollstonecraft has been born, Carolyn is rarely seen without her virulent floral case. She’s a brilliant Mum, quietly and confidently capable – but she’s still the wickedly bitchy giggler Alexa fell in love with. Alexa adores parenthood, but she misses nights out, nights in, and her partner’s Eau de Nile Sophie Hulme, which had to be retired after Wolly was sick in it. Still, she has big plans for the nappy bag. It’s the perfect thing for storing and selling laughing gas at Bestival. Carolyn thought that was another joke, at first, but she’s coming round to the idea.

Behind the bag, Behind the bag, Designer Fashions, Features, Handbags, Nostalgia, Uncategorized

Behind The Bag: The Longchamp Derby

By Daisy Buchanan on June 19th, 2013
Longchamp-Derby-Verni-Hobo 200Annie might work in fashion, but her most treasured handbag is navy, not neon. Annie learned early that fashion PRs are like successful drug dealers. They pedal the stuff, but they can’t touch it. Realistically, on 24 grand a year, she can’t. When she got her first assistant job (after three years of art history, a year of Style and Communication studies and 18 months of interning) she vowed that in five years she’d be an Account Director with a 2.55. But her thirties are looming, and unless Scary Cheryl leaves, or dies, she’s not getting the promotion or pay rise she needs any time soon. Scary Cheryl isn’t going to leave, because no major agency will tolerate an AD who buggers off for a ‘thinking nap’ every day at 4PM, or brings in her untrained Bichon Frise. So Annie bought a blue nylon Longchamp Derby, and duels daily with smokers who push her on the pavement and into the path of their corrosive ash trails.
Annie is a bit sick of compromising, actually. Which is why she needs to dump Jamie, even though talk of such a decision makes her friends splutter and spill their pinot grigio. “But you guys have been together for five years! You should be thinking about getting married!” The lack of romance in Annie’s life makes her long for a wedding – and sometimes, in unguarded moments, she catches herself making lists (“J. Crew. Diptyque Ciel tealights. NO BUNTING”). Then she thinks about pledging her troth to someone who leaves single, sweaty pieces of cycle gear on each individual stair and says ‘haitch’, and bursts into tears

Accessories, Behind the bag, Designer Fashions, Designers, Fashion Crush, Fashion Tips, Features, Handbags, Nostalgia, Opinion, Style spotlight

Behind the bag: the Osprey tote

By Daisy Buchanan on June 13th, 2013

Osprey-tote-bagLucy plotted this purchase carefully online. She wasn’t thinking ‘mummy bag’. She wanted something classy, classic, summer in the Hamptons, old school power bitch with a Filofax. But now the cream exterior is smudged with biro and stained with mustard, and the interior is a different, even more distressing horror story. She imagines an official government bag inspector rifling through it in dismay, ignoring the shinier signs of success (iPad, Marc Jacobs wallet, Chanel lipstick – in a colour that’s no longer available, but still) and shrieking with horror at the tampons who escaped their cellophane to roll in the bag dust like dirty hippies. And what of the other monstrosities? Nude Topshop ballet pumps with a busted seam that have started to smell ‘curious’. Camus to look cool, Jilly Cooper for luck and an old, unread Vogue doing the job of a document folder. Seven foil wrappings which once held falafel wraps from Leon.

Lucy sometimes finds life in London so overwhelming that she wishes she could climb inside her giant bag and wait for someone to discover her and look after her, like Paddington. Or she could set up home there – it’s no darker or smellier than her Clapham house share, and it’s much cheaper. Perhaps she’ll throw it into the sea and go to her parents’ in Dorset for a bit. She remembers walking around their hall, arms outstretched, feeling for wifi like a Knightmare contestant, and thinks again. She hitches her giant bag higher on her shoulder and its padlock narrowly misses the face of a passing cyclist. In London, you need all the weapons you can get.

Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Department Stores, Designer Fashions, Trend Alert

Trend Alert: Geometric Prints

By Ashley on May 22nd, 2013

Prints are everywhere on the high street right now, and geometrics are owning the chic end of the market. Not to be restricted to wallpapers or ties, geometric patterns are making a big appearance in fashion terms too. There’s something very pleasing about these 1960s-inspired patterns, bringing a burst of colour and structure to otherwise simple items.

Here’s the top ten geometric garmets we are coveting right now.

Mad Men Collection Shirtdress £85

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Spread collared shirtdress with buttoned placket. Long sleeves with buttoned cuffs and tie-front belt. Designed exclusively by Banana Republic in collaboration with Mad Men® costume designer Janie Bryant. Banana Republic

Accessories, Designer Fashions, Gallery

Shiny Gallery: 60s-influenced looks… yep, more Mad Men

By Ashley on May 19th, 2013

It’s a decade full of timeless looks, which means it’s never too far from our high streets – but let’s face it, will Twiggy ever look uncool? From monochrome shifts to paisley and patent pumps, the clean-cut chic 60s look is big news this season, with fashion’s continued love for all things retro. And what’s not to like about striking a passing resemblance to anyone off the Mad Men set? (style icons and sex appeal in equal measures).

Here’s our top 10 items channeling the 60s look.

Pencil Skirt in Retro Daisy Print £32

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Made from a cotton stretch fabric, high fitted waist skirt featuring retro daisy print. Tailored darts and kick split to hem. Asos

Designer Fashions, Features, Gallery, outerwear

10 Trench Coats for late Spring – ASOS, Boden, Uniqlo

By Ashley on April 25th, 2013

One swallow does not a summer make or so the saying goes. So before we get all carried vac-packing our coats away into hibernation (-what? just me then!), consider having a lightweight trench to take with you on your day out. Macs are always de rigueur in Spring fashion, and there’s nothing like a bit of military look to give you the edge!

So, collars up and waists belted sufficiently to take your breath away, here’s a collection of some mighty fine trenches for you to try.

Nato Strict Trench Coat by Client £195

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Sourced in Europe from an English warehouse and each individually 'remade' by Client, these 1940’s khaki Nato post war trench coats are customised with client buttons, belt and a removable inner quilted lining. Large red heart option on the lining and choice of inner lining colour. The inner sleeve zips in and can be worn on its own. notonthehighstreet

Accessories, Affordable Fashions, Designer Fashions, Features, Gallery, Handbags, Opinion

10 fantastic bags you can actually afford. No, really.

By Lauren Bravo on April 25th, 2013

I’m currently suffering from something I like to term ‘Fash bag fatigue’.

Barely a day goes buy where I don’t open a magazine or click through a style site to be told, in no uncertain terms, that unless I’m saving up my council tax and muesli money for a tote I can carry a baby around in, I am missing a crucial fashion gene. It’s not that I can’t appreciate the quilty aesthetics of a Chanel 2.55, or a Mulberry tote, or even those satchels off the Google advert, but I’ve never managed to grasp the dreamy possibility behind the massive great throbbing price tag. Some see design and timeless craftsmanship – I just see a holiday or a Ford Focus swinging from the arms of the elite.

The Sunday supplements, bless their affluent hearts, have made it as far as realising that bags upward of a grand probably aren’t at the top of many women’s shopping lists, so they’ve started giving us bags for £500 instead. Which is marvellous if you’re one of those terrifying 23 year old hedge fund managers you occasionally read about in Vogue, or if your landlord has lapsed into a coma conveniently excusing you from paying any rent, but for the rest of us who don’t have a spare monkey in the bank yet still have to carry our stuff around, it’s not especially helpful.

So here, to prove they do still exist, are some seriously nice bags for under £100. Most are under £50. Some are under £30. Which, unless you plan to take inspiration from the late, great Nora Ephron, who announced that her perfect bag was a bright yellow and blue plastic MetroCard shopper from the Transit Museum in New York’s Grand Central Station (I Feel Bad About My Neck – And Other Thoughts About Being A Woman, 2007 – read it, it’s wonderful), is probably about the best we’re going to be able to do. But at least we can still afford muesli.

Note: I have included nothing from Urban Outfitters, because every bag I or my friends have ever bought from Urban Outfitters has always broken dramatically within three months. If you’ve got an UO bag that you’ve been lugging around unscathed for over a year, please do let me know.

Hardback doctor bag, £26.99

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Doctors can’t claim many professional style victories (word on the wards is they’re still wearing Crocs) but they do have some pretty tasty bag heritage. This cheap and cheerful take on the classic Gladstone from comes in a range of tasteful colours and will ensure that should you ever go to Gloucester in a shower of rain, you’ll be able to cart your brolly around in something stylish. NB: does not guarantee medical knowledge.

Designer Fashions, Designers, dresses, Features, Gallery

Monochrome – gallery of this season’s hottest op art style

By Ashley on April 22nd, 2013

Monochrome – the evergreen fashion theme that keeps on giving – is back big time this Spring/Summer. From wide black and white humbug stripes and large bold colour blocking, through to the ditsy polka dot, it is everywhere now. This is fashion at its most democratic! This clean-cut, sharp 60’s influenced monochrome look can work brilliantly for anyone regardless of age, size and budget.

Geo Bow Print Dress with Skinny Belt £22.75

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A sleeveless woven dress featuring a geo bow print and skinny belt. Contrast double pointed collar with self-tie neck. Elasticized waist and slip with adjustable spaghetti straps included. Semi-sheer and partially lined. Forever21

Designer Fashions, Ethical Fashions, Fashion News, Features, Gallery

PETA Fashion Awards 2013 winners announced: Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and H&M among winners commended for animal-free fashion

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on February 4th, 2013

Most stylish handbag: Vivienne Westwood Derby bag (£500)

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Consumers are becoming more aware and concerned about the origins of the products in their wardrobe, and fake fur, cruelty-free fabrics and pleather are fast becoming the go-to materials for those wanting to enjoy the latest fashion with a clean conscience. And everyone from high-street retailers such as Topshop and French Connection to high end designers like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney are meeting consumer demand for animal-free fashion.

Animal welfare organisation PETA is recognising the best cruelty-free contributions to the fashion world with a new awards – the first ever PETA-approved Vegan Fashion Awards. The 2013 winners, which include French Connection (gadget accessory) and New Look (women’s outerwear) as well as Frost French (best purse) can be found  above. Up-and-coming designer Bo Carter took home the accolade for Most Talented New Designer. As PETA notes: “Bo is part of a bright new wave of fashion talent who are shunning animal skins in their work. Bo always puts her principles first, so instead of bowing to industry pressure to use leather and fur, she expresses herself by creatively exploring the qualities of synthetic fabrics. The results are simply stunning: beautiful, original (and completely vegan) clothes.”

The awards mark the launch of PETA’s new logo, which designers and retailers can use to identify vegan clothes and accessories that they sell online or in stores.

This article was first published on

Designer Fashions, dresses, Gallery

Katya Katya Shehurina SS13 collection

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on January 7th, 2013

I came across Latvian designer Katya Katya Shehurina this morning when browsing for wedding dresses (not for myself!). Her lace dresses might not be to everyone’s taste, but for those of you who love Valentino will certainly appreciate the romantic Gothic inspired gowns in reds and blacks.

Apart from all the lace, I particularly like the oversized beaded collars on some of the dresses.

Scroll down for the complete collection…

Katya Katya Shehurina SS13

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Designer Fashions, Designers, Gallery, Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week: Dior SS 2013

By Andrea Petrou on October 1st, 2012

There wasn’t really a theme as such for Dior’s SS 2013 collection with Raf Simons taking inspiration from, well, everywhere.

Simple, yet elegant long floral skirts, which gave a nod to the Edwardian era were followed by knee length or sometimes longer dresses covered in net or overlays, with side ruffles or sequins.

Then came the suits, which were more suited to a collection for Chanel or YSL.

And it also seems that any colour goes for next season- if you’re following Dior that is – with rust, orange, pink, red, grey tweed and stripes pink satin and black, hitting the catwalk.

While there were some cute creations, we think this collection shows Raf needs to find his niche at the fashion house for the next season if he wants to remain in his relatively new position.

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Designer Fashions, Designers, Gallery, London fashion week

London Fashion Week: Meadham Kirchhoff Spring/Summer 2013 collection

By Andrea Petrou on September 19th, 2012

Meadham Kirchhoff’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection was titled a “Cautionary Tale”, with the designer duo bringing us once again their unique creations.

Taking inspiration from 50s couture with a Madame de Pompadour theme thrown in, the design house sent models marching down the catwalk in full skirts, corset tops complete with frill cap sleeves and short coats.

Pearls, gauzy golds and white satin bows that adorned the garments added to the look, while gold embroidery and crystals really bought the collection to life.

Add to these elbow-length satin gloves, marabou feathers and heavily patterned fabrics added to, and completed the theme nicely.

See the gallery below for the collection.

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Designer Fashions, designer pick of the week, Designers, Gallery, London fashion week

London Fashion Week: Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2013

By Andrea Petrou on September 18th, 2012

Burberry’s creative director Christopher Bailey said he wanted the new collection to be “a little bit sassy, sexier and more playful,” and we here at Shiny Towers think he achieved that and more.

Models marched down the catwalk in brightly coloured – think pinks and electric blues-  metallic fabrics, giving the collection a slight Bollywood feel.

Styles comprised of iridescent body suits, plastic capes, satin corsets and feather dresses, while the trademark trench was remodelled into rainbow colours and rich silk fabrics, covering luxe swimwear.

A trench coat over your beach bikini? Sure.
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Designer Fashions, Designers, Features, Gallery, London fashion week

London Fashion Week: PPQ Spring/Summer 2013 collection

By Andrea Petrou on September 17th, 2012

PPQ took the fashion world back to the 60s with its Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

Keeping to its trademark original print roots, the design house introduced a range of blouses, skirts, shirts and even catsuits with a psychedelic theme and paisley print patterns.

Hair channelled the 60s theme, styled in slick back fronts and large backcombed bouffant bouncy ponytails, while chalky glossy pastel lips added a summer feel.

Hats, and the addition of nautical stripes gave the collection a second layer and emulated the popular 50s chic Hollywood look.

We think this collection will definitely be an inspiration to highstreet designers for the upcoming summer season.

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Designer Fashions, Designers, First Looks, Gallery, New Fashions, New York Fashion Week - Runway

New York Fashion Week: Carolina Herrera Spring/Summer 2013

By Andrea Petrou on September 11th, 2012

We can’t believe how quickly this year’s SS 2013 fashion weeks have come around, and we’re dead excited to see what London has to offer in the very near future.

However, for now we’ll be having a sneaky look at what New York has to offer and first on our list is Carolina Herrera’s Spring/Summer 2013 offerings.

This season the designer decided to go all floaty for the catwalk show.

Models marched down the catwalk in soft ethereal fabrics and shapes, punctured with hits of bold colours such as black, which gave what could have been this very girly collection a fierce edge.

Shift style frocks, classic preppy pleat tennis dresses teamed with structured blazers also made an appearance, while white dominated the colour palate here.

Definitely a day in the park/ simple summer night out collection, which we heart.

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