Fashion Essentials: 5) Leather

Leather-Essentials-StyleOnTheCouchFor this part of my Fashion Essentials series I am talking about a great love.  I have an on-going romance with leather; no longer a fashion luxury but a fashion staple (faux or no).  The three key items I want to focus on for your capsule closet are the leather jacket; the perfect leather pant and the unique leather accessory.

To begin with, the leather pant.  Whether it be slouchy or skinny, the leather trouser is a model-off-duty favorite with its classic meets luxe fashion stance.  My own pair of leather pants are from Joseph; a lovely mix of sleek and chic texture with contemporary detailing (unfinished trouser cuffs).

Leather-essentials-trousersPlenty of other leather pants options are around.  If you are looking for skinnies, I recommend any of the Joseph versions plus this leather and jersey mix pair from DKNY .  Again, lottery winners need to head straight to Net-a-porter for this pair by Saint Laurent.  For those who prefer their leather a little looser fitting, try this relaxed style from Warehouse or try these gorgeous Hallum Pants from Australian brand Viktoria & Woods.

Leather-Fleet-IlyaI am not sure many days pass on my various social media feeds without me mentioning Fleet Ilya,  a London-based leather fashion brand.  Producing creative accessories season after season, to satisfy your leather craving for a kick-ass accessory find, look no further.  You can find a selection of bags, belts, cuffs and harnesses on their website.  A clear sign that leather does not need to be black to have impact, their blush pink clutches for Fall are an unexpected leather touch.

Leather-essentials-jacketFinally, the holy grail of the essential leather family, the jacket.  My own leather jacket is from Helmut Lang, a wonderfully draped style that layers and cocoons with Lang’s typical cool and urban vibe.  I’ve worn it countless times since I purchased it about four years ago now, with no signs of this stopping. My top leather jacket suggestions are as follows:

1) Iro Ebeyna Biker Jacket: slim and structured fit; pair with skinny denim and silk or chiffon blouse underneath

2) Helmut Lang Wither Fitted Jacket (you can find some steals on Lang’s jackets on The Outnet)

3) For a cropped style, try this Xana jacket from Christie Nicole

Finally, proof again that coloured leathers also have impact, take some inspiration from Rick Owens (blue) and Iro again (red) when you go a-shopping.

For those of you with ethical questions, check out this well written page by the Stella McCartney brand on leather usage.

I’m wearing: Zara faux leather top and Reiss trousers.

Lover The Label Rosebud Skirt: Lace & Cashmere


Lover the label rosebud skirt styleonthecouch james chastney


Lover-the-label-rosebud-skirt-styleonthecouchIt’s been a very busy week, Blog Reader. I’ve been job seeking, house hunting, soul searching… I’m going through another series of transitions (which for some reason always starts with a new hairstyle) and feeling excited about change again.

When transitions occur I find that I stick faithfully to my fashion favorites; those styles that make me feel the most comfortable and myself (likely an attempt to balance the sea-change that is ahead).  This Rosebud skirt from Lover the Label was a wonderful investment two years ago. If I’m ever worried about what to wear and I need to strike that not-too-formal-but-I-really-do-want-to-feel-and-look-good balance then I wear this lace number.  Somewhat of a Lover signature, you can shop similar styles here and here.

My fashion favorites aren’t always contemporary pieces, I have just as much love for comfortable fabrics and basic styling.  This cashmere sweater from James Perse was borrowed from American husband – he may not get it back given how soft and warm it is….

So today I’m believing in the person I want to become.  Which is a good start to the week, wouldn’t you say Blog Reader?

Wearing: Lover the Label Rosebud skirt; James Perse sweater; Wink & Winn bag.

Photos by the awesome James Chastney.

Under the Boardwalk: Cropped Tops & Warm Coats




Zara-crop-top-styleonthecouch-1Cropped tops and warm coats, you say? Yes, Blog Reader, welcome to a beach shoot in the East of England.  Best laid plans and all that…

Last week I hung out with photographer James Chastney in Great Yarmouth, one of those wonderfully predictable English seaside towns (cue: rain, wind and umbrellas) full of old amusement rides, candy floss kiosks and the obligatory carousel.  In between dodging showers during which we challenged each other in the arcades we found some shelter underneath the pier (not so much shelter from the wind perhaps!) for some photos.

I’m always about keeping things simple with black, white and denim and summer whites in particular seem such hot property for 2014. Hence the investment in this simple tee with a twist here.  I swear that some of the most amazing pieces from Zara come and go in the blink of an eye – not only did I spy this Balenciaga-style cropped, frilled and layered top in store without getting a whiff of it on the Zara website beforehand; I couldn’t find the link back to the style by the time I wrote this post two weeks later. In the hope it may appear again – here is a link to some similar styles.  Wear with high-waisted jeans or full skirt, or pair with white trousers if you dare.

It’s a long bank holiday weekend here in England, which for me means lots of free time after a very busy week (you’ll notice the absence of posting, due to work and traveling here there and everywhere).  Tonight I’m spending some time catching up on my favourite blogs and browsing online.  I’m also finishing off some posts about my recent trip to Iceland, so check back soon if you want some travel and shopping trips for Reykjavik and beyond.

Wearing: Zara top; ASOS Ridley high-waist jeans; Marks & Spencer coat; Shoe the Bear sneakers.

Photographer: The awesome James Chastney.

Make-up artist: With thanks to Flamingo Amy.