Summer Dressing: Arden B. Maxi, Freddie & Cinnamon Bracelet and Lancelot Knight Leather Barrel Bag

This outfit post pretty much sums up all my current obsessions; the things I have been wearing to death this summer.  This Arden B maxi dress is such a pretty style… for starters it seems to make me look 5ft 10 tall (ten points below if anyone knows about optical illusions and can tell me why – is it the way the stripes sit?!) and the back detail with little cascading frills is super cute.

Photos: Lydia Hudgens.

When it comes to handbags, my favourites are classic, structured forms.  My biscuit coloured barrel bag gave up the ghost recently so I was incredibly happy when the lovely folks at Lancelot Knight contacted me about their collection of barrel shapes in pastel and neon shades.  They gifted me this leather baby pink Avon Barrel bag which is a perfect match for my lighter summer outfits.  It also has a longer shoulder strap, detachable and adjustable (not seen here).

I think one of the reasons I love this bag so much is a question of size as well as shape.  I need to fit my life in a bag and whilst my ‘summer life’ is considerably lighter on ‘stuff’ than my winter life – this fits my diary, iPhone and retro headphones, make-up for touching up, wallet / keys, camera and umbrella (yes I carry one everywhere I am well and truly English in this respect) whilst still looking that little bit on the dainty side….

I’m still working on my accessories too, Blog Reader. I came across the delightful contemporary jewelry brand Freddie & Cinnamon not long ago and their styles appealed to me because they are classic pieces at great value.  I’ll be featuring their collection on the blog very soon along with a Q&A with their founder / designer.  Here I am wearing their Chain Gold Plated Bracelet, a delicate and graceful strand of interconnected circles, on my wrist.  It’s one of those pieces I’ve worn over and over.

A summer outfit for a summer’s day, Blog Reader. Hope you are well, I’m currently taking a break back in England and enjoying being in the countryside for a while.  You can see some of my pictures on instagram: @StyleOnTheCouch. Have a lovely weekend, StyleOnTheCouch xo

Wearing: Maxi dress, Arden B.  Chain gold plated bracelet, Freddie & Cinnamon.  Avon Barrel bag, Lancelot Knight. Sandals (just seen), Nine West.

Chiffon and Leather: Helmut Lang and Mango

Greetings from Manhattan, Blog Reader!  I’m back in New York City after a wonderful vacation in Texas and a lot of fun with friends old and new.  In Austin I had the chance to work with Red Rogue Studio, I met the amazing photographer William Williams (he recently shot a fabulous campaign for Uniform Union by LoyandFord which you can see here) and I caught up with Ashley of Teddies for Bettys, a favourite lingerie boutique of mine.

Back in NYC, I’m leaving behind the denim shorts and cropped tees I wore in Austin and returning to a downtown vibe with black chiffon and leather.

Photos: The wonderfully talented Lydia Hudgens.

There are a few labels that really set my heart racing.  Some of them I am sure you could guess, Blog Reader: I covet Preen for Thornton and Bregazzi’s sophistication and their wonderfully modern and feminine silhouettes. I adore Rodarte for romance.  With Helmut Lang I crave their cool, urban vibe.  There is a great consistency in the collections of Helmut Lang, something I admire.  In pre-fall this year, the sharp shouldered jackets got my attention and I decided to invest in a leather style (well, part present, part gift to self) that I knew I would wear for years. The jacket works really well with dresses as well as trousers and that was my one requirement for such a piece.  I adore the snug fit and the asymmetric, draped style – a Lang signature.

This 70s style black maxi dress was part of Mango‘s summer collection for 2012, the editorial for which featured Kate Moss, shot by Terry Richardson.  I really liked the summer collection, a mix of sharp tailoring, sports-inspired separates and voluminous dresses.   Going back to this collection today reminded me yet again how simple and chic monochrome can be.  I’m working on the all white look next, with the shot of Kate, below left, as my inspiration:

Images of Kate Moss from the Mango Blog.

Watch this space, Blog Reader, watch this space!

Thanks to all who kept up with my adventures in Texas! Normal blogging service resumes.  Tell me, Blog Reader, which pieces have you invested in, that have truly stood up to the test of time?

Wearing: Dress from Mango; jacket, Helmut Lang; clutch, ASOS (they have a great selection). Belt, COS.

Give Me Your LAVUK

Last month I discovered LAVUK, a label blending elegance and modern living, who I featured in my weekly column for the online fashion community Lookbooks.  I had several delightful email exchanges with designer and founder Natasha Gindin about the inspiration behind her collections along with her path into fashion design.  Born in former Yugoslavia and now living and working in Los Angeles, Natasha’s talents were nurtured by the owner of a boutique she worked in, in Santa Monica.  Within a little studio tucked away inside the store front; “I was often helping out the designer with some styles that she was stuck on… I learned a great deal from her.  She was the first one to spot my talent” Natasha explained.

The rather unusual name LAVUK combines two words: LAV = ‘lion’ and VUK = ‘wolf’- the names of Natasha’s twin nephews who were born at the same time she took a leap of faith and started her own clothing brand.

She lends a touch of the Adriatic to her spring 2012 collection with colours of cyan blue and orange-red; “The sea is so full of inspiration starting from variety of fishes to seaweed to shallow and deep sea colours…”

Now based in Downtown Los Angeles, Natasha has a strong ecological focus that I admire. Every garment purchased results in a tree being planted through the American Forests organisation.  LAVUK garments are also created using eco-friendly dyes and fabrics; “I try to do everything I can from my end” Natasha told me. “The time is now or never, I believe.

You can buy LAVUK from several stockists across the USA, including the delightful Lower East Side boutique Kaight in New York City and Hangr 16 that I visited when I was in San Francisco last year.  To see the full LAVUK range, visit their website.

Happy Easter, Blog Reader! StyleOnTheCouch xo

Wearing: Gloria maxi skirt and Amelia Earhart hand printed draped top, both from LAVUK.  Shoes (just seen) Izabela, Nine West.  Lace top (just seen) Stella McCartney ‘Clemence Baking’ set; from Journelle. Sunglasses, GUESS.