StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Hampden Clothing

Let’s take a moment to read the list of brands on Hampden Clothing‘s front window, Blog Reader.  Alexander Wang? Check.  Helmut Lang? Check.  Opening Ceremony? Check check.  Yigal Azrouel? Check.  Ah I believe Hampden Clothing is my idea of shopping heaven.  This lovely boutique on King Street, Charleston was a must-visit on my recent trip to the city.  Owner Stacy Smallwood showed me around the boutique, a mix of contemporary womenswear and accessories perfectly grouped for outfit inspiration.

My favourite part of the store was the wall of ‘Stylist Picks’ from Stacy and her team – a beautiful array of autumnal colours with a standout sleeveless leather dress from HANii Y. The team at Hampden Clothing make the place something special too, offering personalised service to their clients as well as running some incredibly fun and unique events in store.  Rag & Bone once held a fashion show at Hampden and tomorrow night (Thursday 9th August) Timo Weiland and the girls from Lizzie Fortunato are around for a meet and greet.

Above: The boutique space at Hampden Clothing.  Below: Lizzie Fortunato Jewels clutch.
Photos by the amazing William Williams.

I also came away from Hampden with a little something of my own, this gorgeous Lily Pad Pleated Skirt by by Timo Weiland. An absolute bargain at $85 in the sale, selected for me by Stacy.  I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have looked twice at this piece if she hadn’t suggested it, but a perfect fit for me it is:

If I lived in Charleston, I’d be in Hampden Clothing on a regular basis.  Actually, I just might move in.  Thankfully for those of us not in the area, we can also shop online as well as receive styling advice via the website.  Their summer sale is still on too – some fabulous bargains to be had.

Hampden Clothing can be found at 314 King Street, Charleston.

The Little Black Dress.

Every so often I like to both inspire and tease myself by browsing various sites for designer evening dresses. Don’t we all imagine what we would spend our money on, if money were no object, of course?! I refer you at this point, Blog Reader, to Freud’s Reality Principle, thankfully keeping my bank balance in check.

I am therefore forever grateful for Cadillac’s Castle in Manhattan’s East Village, a delightful spot I have written about many times before on the blog but which I think is a real treasure hidden on East 9th street.  Earlier this summer I spied this gorgeous little black dress by Catherine Malandrino at the bargain price of $90.

Photos: Lydia Hudgens.

I’m not familiar with Catherine Malandrino, with the exception of some hype surrounding her designs when her SoHo boutique was featured in the TV series Sex In The City in 2002.  Born in Grenoble in the French Alps, Catherine moved to Paris to work with some major fashion houses including Ungaro before moving to New York City in 1997.  The Malandrino brand debuted in 2005 and Catherine is credited with blending the romance and elegance of Paris with the energy of Manhattan in her designs; an enchanting mix of timeless, sophisticated femininity and daring modernity.

This little black dress in silk with lace inspired butterfly hem is a beautiful addition to my wardrobe.  I am very much a subscriber to the idea that one can never have too many clothes dresses little black dresses but I feel there is a uniqueness to this Malandrino design with its plunge neckline, wide straps and tiered hem that will draw me back to it again and again.

A final note for all you bargain hunters out there – Cadillac’s Castle had some wonderful Yigal Azrouel and DVF on my last visit not long ago.  I was with my friend who bought some silver Valentino sandals at a bargain price. It is in my opinion the best consignment store in New York City.  Visit it at 333 East 9th street.

Wearing: Catherine Malandrino dress, from Cadillac’s Castle.  Bracelet (just seen) bought in Turkey and necklace (gift from a friend).
I realised this morning I haven’t posted any of my Turkey travel snaps yet, Blog Reader. Anyone interested or shall we stick to fashion? StyleOnTheCouch xo

New York Fashion Week

Life has been a whirlwind of fun recently.  Over Labour Day weekend in the US of A I escaped the Big Apple on a road trip to Canada with my blogger friend Lani of Mon Petit Chou Chou, with assistance from the delightful folk at the Quebec Ministry for Tourism.  We spent a day in the Eastern Townships then wiled our way to Montreal where we saw the Gaultier Exhibition and shopped and ate our way around the city.  I’ve got heaps to post on Canada over the forthcoming weeks – ‘merci!’ to all who made the trip possible!

Back in New York I’m gearing up for Fashion Week.  Taking place between the 8th – 15th September, New York’s plays host to a wealth of design talent. I’m most interested in the first Cut25 presentation from Yigal Azrouel; Jenny Packham‘s ready-to-wear and the catwalk of Tadashi Shoji, whose gowns are staples on the red carpet: this image below from his Fall 11 collection shows us why… (dress images from The Fashion Spot):

Back in the real world of dressing, fashion week undoubtedly brings with it a series of dress dilemmas (most of which Lani heard throughout the Canada trip, sorry Lani).  What to wear for Blogger events?? What to wear for any shows I might be attending?? What to wear to feel good in SoHo when surrounded by 6 ft tall beautiful models *weeps*…… This year I return to two key brands for my outfits.  Yes, of course the clothes are black, Blog Reader, but how can I possibly go wrong with this gorgeous slinky dress from Donna Karen New York, bought from Cadillac’s Castle in the East Village, a favourite thrift store of mine:

Paired with my Dorothy Perkins heels and my nude clutch I think I’m good to go? Oui or non?? My second outfit will be from BCBG and J Crew and I’ll feature it on the blog next week.

You can watch live streaming of many of the New York Fashion Week shows on Now Fashion, or tune into my good-Twitter-friend Roz’s wonderful Catwalk Live TV.  The latter also has a twitter feed for notes about the shows as they unfold, and you can always follow the official Mercedes Benz fashion week account here, too (this also covers the Berlin and Milan shows).  See the full New York show schedule here.

Coming up on the Blog: The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition in Montreal and a sexy, sassy spectacles giveaway from the amazing Spexclub who I have just ordered “Holly” frames from.  If you’re after a new pair of vintage or charming glasses then don’t forget to tune back in later this week! xo