Sunday, 13 November 2011

Versace for H&M

Thursday 17 November is the day when around 300 H&M stores worldwide will open their doors to queues of eager men and women waiting to get their hands on the affordable Versace for H&M collection.

But firstly, those hands will be given coloured wristbands to wear. The colours will represent time slots of 15 minutes of focused serious shopping.  To stop bulk buying and give everyone a chance to purchase there will be a few rules such as only one of each piece.

For the collection, Versace have turned to their archives and brought out some classic designs and patterns which are the essence of Versace.  Which is a great idea; after all if you’re buying a Versace for H&M you’ll probably expect and want it to be easily recognisable as a Versace. This collection will not disappoint.

For Women:

The collection is bold, glamorous and will definitely turn heads. Famed colourful prints such as the Miami palm print can be seen on cute pleated skirts, leggings, sleeveless tops, jeans and velvet bomber jackets.

Gold studs form their iconic Grecian motif trim brightly coloured silk shift dresses, pleated skirts and leather jackets.

The short Grecian style dress appears in silver and gold shimmering metallics whilst shift dresses are adorned with flirty fringing or covered in multi coloured sequins forming the Versace prints.

It’s not all bright colours though as black also features as simply adorned black crepe dresses, studded leather dresses and jackets, and studded silk pleated skirts and tops. Accessories include high heeled laced boots, belts and bags.

For Men:

There’s a choice of the classic black or eye popping pink in suit jackets and trousers. Metallic wing tips adorn the collars of turquoise shirts, and the pockets of a black tuxedo jacket have metallic trims.

The colourful Versace palm and the black & white optical prints grace t-shirts, fine knit cashmere sweaters, velvet bomber jackets and jeans.  If this may be too much you could always keep the pattern and colours under wraps with just the underpants.

Heavy gold studs trim leather jacket s and leather trousers. One quilted leather jacket has the classic Greek motif which also appears on the sides of black cotton shorts and a black rolled sleeve t-shirt. Accessories include beanie hats, scarves and shoes.

And if that isn’t enough, they have a few pieces for the home including pillows and a bedspread in the multicolour floral Japanese fan print.

I predict this collection will be flying off the rails on Thursday and there will be a few fashionistas taking time off work to be first in the queue. And for those of you who don’t live or work near the chosen H&M stores, there is always online.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Monday, 7 November 2011

Designer Pudsey Collection

Pudsey bear has always been stylish with his golden fur coat and polka dot bandana worn over one eye. But this year Pudsey decided to move away from his signature capsule wardrobe and agreed to strut his stuff in a few couture creations especially designed for him by twelve talented high end fashion designers. The only stipulation Pudsey made to the designers was the bandana stays!

Here’s what some of the designers had to say about working with Pudsey:

Katie Hillier: “It was brilliant and so much fun, I love teddy bears and to have the opportunity to work on such an iconic teddy was amazing! I'm so honoured to have been able to be involved in such an important project.”

Hillier’s Pudsey has the laidback Bohemian chic look. The fur has been replaced with faded blue denim trimmed with coloured stitching and the bandana is a patchwork of baby pink ditsy floral and polka dot patterns. Adding textures are clusters of multi sized patterned buttons and the scattering of coloured opaque flat beads on the bandana and chest. You have to agree, he’s looking as cute as a button in this outfit. 

When asked whether Pudsey was enjoyable to work with, Giles Deacon said: “Yes Pudsey was great to work with and not as much of a diva as I had thought.” Pudsey may not have a diva temperament, but definitely looks the part with this glamorous silver leather futuristic look. Deacon’s Pudsey star quality shines through with the leather bandana twinkling away with hand stitched Swarovski Elements crystals. To add to the diva drama is the long sweeping leather fringing – great for making a shooting star entrance.

Liberty: “Liberty is thrilled to take part in the designer Pudsey initiative and to support BBC Children in Need. It’s great to see talent and creativity joined for such a worthy cause.” Ed Burstell, Managing Director, Liberty London.

Of course the Liberty Pudsey is not afraid to mix patterns and colours. Getting in touch with his feminine side with an array of ditsy florals, he’s going for the soft pastel colours on the body whilst adding a more dramatic black background to his floral cardigan. His bandana is still a key piece with the use of the bright orange.

Erdem: “It’s wonderful to work with Children In Need. It’s a great cause.” On what Children in Need means: “It means helping to make a difference that affects the futures of many children.” A message encouraging the general public to support BBC CiN this year: “No matter how big or small your contribution is, every bit counts.” This delicate lemon botanical print is straight from Erdem’s SS12 collection and works well with the powder blue eye button. A great spring look.

Henry Holland: “I think anything I can do to make a difference to help the lives of children in the UK can only be a good thing. Children in Need is such a great cause and Pudsey is such an iconic character - I loved the idea of putting the House of Holland stamp on him.” 

Holland decided to punk up Pudsey combining his tartan print from his SS12 collection with leather paws and ears. The bandana goes dark but keeps its iconic dots and looks striking against the pastel colours in the tartan. A chunky chain and padlock around Pudsey’s neck finishes off the punk look.

Patrick Grant: Grant’s Pudsey has the sartorial heritage look. The tailoring is of course bespoke Savile Row and handmade in Norton & Sons workroom. The plain black wool bandana is made of Melton cloth from Hainsworth in Yorkshire. The dashing black and red tartan is of wool and cashmere woven by Locharron in Selkirk and originally for the E. Tautz AW2009 collection. Pudsey loves the fact it’s been recycled. In fact he’s chuffed to bits to be stuffed with discarded wool, cotton, linen and silk scraps from the tailors’ board in their Seville Row workroom.

Jonathan Saunders: A patchwork of intarsia geometric prints covers Saunder’s Pudsey in colour ways of blues, oranges and browns. The bandana is ‘eye catching ‘in sky blue and orange.

Mulberry: Less is more for the Mulberry Pudsey. No patterns or embellishments here, just smooth tan leather teamed with black leather bandana and paws.

PPQ: PPQ’s Pudsey is dapper in black with a grosgrain ribbon bow trim adorning his neck and a pale gold silk bandana encrusted with pale blue stones.

Pringle of Scotland by Alistair Carr: Pringle have gone for pure cashmere with 1 carat diamonds to finish off Pudsey’s cardigan

Louis Vuitton by Kim Jones for Katie Grand

This design is still under wraps, but all the bears from the Designer Pudsey Collection will be exhibited at Liberty in London from 7-19 November.

The collection will be auctioned to raise money for BBC Children in Need. Details of the auction can be found on

As a great emporium for innovative and eclectic design, Liberty is the perfect place for the Designer Pudseys to be exhibited while they are under auction. Plus you’ll be able to buy postcards of all the designs as a keepsake.

Sarah Monteith, Director of Marketing and fundraising, BBC Children in Need says: "We are absolutely delighted to have such prestigious designers turn Pudsey couture. And to have Liberty exhibit this one-off collection, allows everyone to view a piece of fashion history. A truly inspirational fundraising initiative."

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Introducing Mrs Sweeney

After years of receiving requests, Oliver Sweeney has finally been persuaded to create a women’s range and lovingly called her ‘Mrs Sweeney’.

Maintaining the high standards of their men’s range, Mrs Sweeney is produced in the same family run factory in the Marche region of Italy.  This first collection is inspired by the signature looks of the men’s line and uses the brand’s decorative nailing on the outsole with flashes of the lime colouring.

Within the range is:
Antonella - a lightweight oxford shoe with a low cut upper and a tamponatta finish. This tamponatta finish is a colouring technique where layers of colour are applied by hand over time. It is the factory owner’s daughter Simona who has hand painted every shoe individually making each pair unique.  The light colours of purple and blue with a dull sheen bring a flirty feminine look making these flats ideal for dresses such as the tea dress.
Ornella - the knee high riding boot in grey or brown, also crafted in a tamponatta finish.
Graziella - the only court shoe and high heeled shoe in the range, making a bold statement in a rich rust colour.
Sophia - the ankle boot with brogue detailing and a nod to the Jodhpur boot. In rust or tan.
Valentina - a light derby shoe with a waxed aged upper leather in royal blue, rust or tan.

But it is the brogue which makes the most impact, especially as it is bang on trend this season with the androgynous look.
Emilia has a relaxed lived in look with burnished suede or aged leather uppers.  In burgundy, brown or blue suede and burgundy leather.
Caterina is a heavier brogue with the chunky St Moritz rubber sole, great for the winter weather. In blue or grey.
Simona has the seriously polished look in bordeaux or tan with leather sole. Great for those mannish sharp suits or a tailored dress.

Available soon on

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky