Thursday 27 January 2011

Doggy Style: A short guide to a blog and business worthy pet

fashion friday by Evie Kemp
I hold dogs in very high regard. To the self-employed a dog is often a best friend, an accessory, a muse, a colleague and a photo prop all in one. A dog won't let you sleep in and waste the morning, a dog forces you to get outside at least once a day and take some time out, a dog is something who'll listen to you talk and perhaps save your sanity. Sure, there are those of you who claim to not be 'dog people' but I reckon you haven't tried life with a dog.

I find that if I walk into a shop and the owner has their faithful friend sitting behind the counter I'm about 80% more likely to buy something. Same goes for online shop, if theres a dog in the picture it's instant love. I love the dog, and by proxy the seller and the product. They call it puppy love.

And so, it follows that just as much as I like dogs in shops, I love shopping for my doggy companions. It's easy to get caught up in the strange world of animal attire and find yourself perplexed over a miniature pair of dungarees or a puppy tutu. However let's approach this from an independent business point and think of your dog not only as your lunch date but also (to some extent) as an extension of you and your business. You don't wear a Von Dutch hoodie (or do you?!) and so neither should your dog.
I've picked out some really lovely canine clothes and accessories that will ensure your four-legged friend is always blog-feature ready even if you aren't. (I do apologise to cats, who also make great business partners but do not generally react well to being dressed up and paraded around town.)

Classic outerwear for any occasion and not a crass slogan to be seen. Coats from top 1 Handknit fisherman sweater by Elsa and Em $34 2 'The Westerly' trench by Rover Dog $80 3 Barbour Waxed Cotton Dog Coat £29.95
Bold, statement pieces to express some personality without being garish. Collars from top 1 Summer green tartan bow tie collar by Pecan Pie Puppies $24 2 Moustache collar by Silly Buddy $30 3 'The Portland' collar by The Urban Animal Scientist $32 4 Hot pink plaid collar by Silly Buddy $27 5 Seersucker bow tie collar by Pecan Pie Puppies $24

Don't forget the accessories. Dog tags left to right 1 Lightening Tag by Yabettasupadont $20 2 Shining star tag by Make Your Dog Smile $15 3 Skull & crossbones dog tag by Nicola $46

the year of the dog…

Merry Christmas, happy New Year and all of that – I know we’re now well past the socially excepted point for saying this but what are you going to do. As you can probably tell my New Years resolution wasn’t to be more organized – I’m quite a believer in resolutions and tend to make one single rule each year. I’ve had great success with the one rule system, while other friends make it a month at most only eating lattuce, well hand making all their soap and running up a mountain everyday, I give myself a single task that I can usually just about manage to stick to. One year I never used a lift or elevators, one I give up chocolate, a particularly fun year was spend swearing more creatively and then there was the memorable and not hugely successful year of being a bad-ass.

However this year I’m branching out and have set myself two. My first one is shamefully sickening but boils down to being a better more caring human being – to try as often as possible to see the world from other peoples point of view and to generally be less judgemental – in life and online. The second is in the title, it might be the Chinese year of the rabbit but for me at least it’s the year of the dog, I don’t say this lightly I grown up with dogs and I fully understand the tie and commitment owning one is but I’m finally ready and when I say ready I mean can aim to be ready by the end of the year (clearly I need a home first). I have a wish list of breeds my first choice at the moment being the Norfolk as shown at the into – it’s my Father (who is a fairly well know figure in dog circles) small dog of choice. I suspect this is mostly duel to the fact my family live in the English country side as do a lot of rats who sadly aren’t shy of coming in doors. Norfolk terriers are considered the best dog in the business at ratting. For me though they are a good size, look like teddy bears and are still not a silly princess dog. My second choice is the Boston shown above from what I have read they make amazing (the best) apartment dogs and I know they would just look beautiful in photo shoots. Is that terribly shallow of me?

Monday 10 January 2011

and on to 2011...

Trend forecasting must be a scary occupation. Simultaneously looking in to the future and in a way dictating it.

I've been looking through the S/S 2011 collections and reading what I can to try and figure out what we should or might be wearing later in the year but to be honest, while I love a lot of what I see there are things that I hope stay on last years runway never to return. I've put together another list of what we canexpect to be seeing a lot of this year. Perhaps in 12 months I can look back and compare notes.

The 90's/minimalism

Starting with the bad news is the return of the 90's, specifically the 90's shift. Simple (or no) tailoring, spaghetti straps, straight up and down. Generally looks awful on anyone but a model and even then it doesn't look that amazing. Think Victoria Beckham at the beginning of the Spice Girls.Technically it's called minimalism but we all know where we saw it first. I do love fashion but this is a trend I don't want to see. But, please feel free to argue against me!

Statement sunglasses and hats

I personally love a huge pair of sunglasses though for the past two summers they have been put aside for a generally more understated pair. I can't wait to get to get a new jumbo pair that will hide most of my face. The rule here is do think retro and preferably round or even with a bit of a cats eye thing going on. Again, sorry for the Posh Spice references but avoid the big black rectangular styles favoured by her a few years back. I love this pair by Karen Walker though coloured frames could be even better. Hat-wise consider donating your trilbies and panamas to your Dad for a while and dare to wear a bucket style, hugely wide brimmed floppy hat, or even better, a sombrero. I kid you not.

The 70's

We already saw a fair bit of this last year and the hats (above) already gave it away but expect the 70's to be the over-riding influence this year, more so than the more mid-century styles we saw last year. High-waisted mega flares, silk blouses, halter necks and maxi skirts and dresses should all be getting a lot of face time. Clompy clog sandals and buckle sandals for summer feet. Do think more 1973 resort that 1979 supermarket shopping.

Print and colour

Again, entirely connected to the above prints should be bold, bright and clashing or alternatively colour block to the extreme. 2011 is supposed to be a year of some seriously amazing colours and you're supposed to be combining them in ways Rothko and Newman would be extremely proud of. Pantone declared this years colour 'HoneySuckle pink' which is a kind of pinker shade of watermelon, add to this tangerine and a true turquoise. Darker jewel colours will also be popular particular citrine and ruby.

No print and no colour

If you're not one for colour a minimalist palette is also supposed to big news this year (though really when isn't it?). White especially is looking good, team with tans and various earth colours (see 2010). Texture though will be important, in either slinky luxe silk or pretty lace dresses in black or white. I for one will not really be too bothered with this. I love colour too much.

Additional notes

Heels should return to a stacked platform although the kitten heel is supposed to remain wafting around (boo).

Key accessories should include a silk scarf worn around your head, neck or hat.

Leather and studs are supposed to remain in Vogue.

Remember style doesn't change overnight so many of last years trends will still be valid.

I'm interested to know what you think will be big (or not) this year and if you have any personal style trends that you'll be adopting/carrying over. Personally I really want to run with the colours, especially pairing colour with colour and eliminating a lot of black or tan type combinations. I also want to start working more high quality fabrics in to my wardrobe because they really do look so much more amazing.

What are you going to wear this year?

All photos except sunglasses by Karen Walker

Thursday 6 January 2011

2010, The year in fashion

I've been looking forward to doing this post. While it's happening the year can all feel like a bit of a blur and there's nothing like a dash of retrospection to create a snap shot of the year that was. Fashion wise I found 2010 to be a great year (remember however that I am a fickle fashion victim), with a perfect balance of nostalgia, the new and the down right strange (Lady Gaga anyone?).

Here are my selection of defining fashion statements from 2010, the pieces and trends that really summed up the year.

  • 2010 was rough for the lambs with shearling (sheepskin, preferably lambskin) as the material of the year. We saw shearling jackets, coats, waistcoats, hats, shoes and even socks. Regular leather continued it's reign as an all purpose fabric with the perfection ( and high street-isation) of the leather dress, skirt and t-shirt. Items that despite having all the potential to evoke The Flintstones or a biker gang actually are incredibly simple and beautiful. In saying that, most of us couldn't afford one and the 'vegan' versions = sweaty = not chic.
  • The biggest shock for me this year was the return and rise of the clogs. After my initial shock I was a little disgusted, then intrigued, then secretly fancied them and now I'm seeing in 2011 with 2 pairs of clogs at my side. I've been very impressed at the dramatic rise of the humble clog from Dutch national costume to clomping along the runway at Chanel but I'll admit it has made me a bit worried. Those clogs have potentially trod a dangerous path, a path in which such other non-flattering and scary shoes of years past can make an equally dramatic and successful comeback. Spice Girl platforms, I'm looking at you.
  • Perhaps less excitingly camel was most definitely the colour of the year (although Pantone declared it turquoise) with bright red a close second. A camel coat was the absolute must buy (you really should have already had one) though camel trousers as perfected by Chloe were also high on this list. This tone, ranging from beige through to caramel signalled a hiatus for black and 2010 embraced a lighter palette in general. Which is nice for a change, which is all it is. Black will be back. It always is.
  • Ultimately 2010 was a year of the mid-century flash back. Ladylike silhouettes, skinny waist belts, full skirts, pussy bows, blouses, red lips, proper handbags, kitten heels, peter pan collars and penny loafers were everywhere and should continue to be for a little while longer. Teal, merlot and rust were colours that featured a lot last year evocative as they are of early 60's cocktail dresses. In many ways 2010 wasn't a perfect year but this alone made it for me, finally a fashion trend that works quite perfectly with a big(ger?) bum.

So there are my fashion statements of the year that has been though I could go on. To me, it was a year of luxe and I hope that's here to stay for a while. Next post I'll share what the predictions are for this year. But until then how will you remember 2010?

Fashion friday by Evie Kemp