Replikate Face-Off: Paul & Joe Lyrisme Cape

When I heard there was a replikate available for Kate’s gorgeous Paul & Joe cape, which she wore in the Bhutan, I couldn’t quite believe it. Of all the items she’s worn, this would probably be one of the last I’d imagine would be copied. It’s an intricate design, and an item she only wore once. As soon as I heard about it, I had to order one right away to do a comparison between the two.

In all pictures, the original Paul & Joe cape is pictured on the left, while the copy is on the right.

I have to say, I was pretty bowled over by how well the replikate came out. I didn’t know what to expect, but the embroidery is really very similar to the original (obviously, some changes need to be made to stay on the right side of copyright). The colours are a little darker in the embroidery of the copy, especially in the greens.

The copy has the same unusual style of stand-up collar, a little thicker and taller than the original. The fabric overall is thicker and heavier, which means this might actually be a better choice for autumn and winter than the fairly thin Paul & Joe cape.

The fastenings are where the main difference lies – the original has hook and eyelets, whereas the copy has large poppers to keep the cape closed.

As you can see, on the back the detailing is still gorgeous on both items – with the largest difference being in the replikate’s centre embroidery, which creates a void at the nape of the neck not present in the original.

This is the bottom of the cape, and you can see the replikate stops before the hem, whereas the original continues the emboridery beyond it.

The original is much finer – and the lining is so thin you can see the embroidery through it. You’ll also notice that the original is ivory, whereas the replikate is a bold, winter white.

The care label marks the replikate as 70% silk and 30% cotton, while the original is 100% wool. The size on the replikate is marked as ‘large’, but it’s the same size as the original, which is ‘one size’.

Another slight difference is the fact that the copy has a slightly raised hem at the front, although both items are a similar length, as you can see in the first image.

All in all, if you’re looking for a copy, this is a fantastic one – the quality is great for the price, and I can’t believe how well they were able to replicate the beautiful embroidery. The original cost £380 – which was increased to £420 when they re-released. I spent £72.22 on this replikate, which for a saving of over £300, makes this a serious bargain. As a bonus, it also comes with a free belt like the one Kate wore with it in Bhutan!

(I have sold the replica cape now! Thanks to Jennifer for the tip and finding the cape on eBay!)

Kate’s New BFF: Nina vs Natalie in the Battle of the Clutches

Move over, Natalie. There’s a new girl in town. Her name is Nina, and she comes in trench…

Nina Trench 3.jpg

The Duchess of Cambridge recently debuted a new L.K. Bennett clutch during her royal tour of India, and it sparked a bit of a buzz, not least because it wasn’t even available to the public yet. Teamed with matching high heels (in two heel heights, no less), the Nina in trench looked to be Kate’s new favourite clutch. L.K. Bennett released the item for sale yesterday, and as I find myself with nothing else better to do on a Friday afternoon, I thought I’d take time out to compare it to an old favourite, the Natalie clutch in straw.

Nina vs

Now, I have a massive soft spot for the Natalie, because during the summer months it really feels like it goes with everything. Kate most often wore it with her trusty L.K. Bennett sledges in taupe, but it also went with the Minx Wedges from Stuart Weitzman, her L.K. Bennett sliver sandals (still only seen once on Kate!), also in taupe, and arguments could be made for it matching any number of her other wedges and espadrilles. However, since Kate’s recently switched from the Sledge to the Fern / Floret in trench, she seems to have ditched the Natalie as her working horse summer clutch in favour of the new Nina.

Tops

Size-wise, there’s not much in the way of difference between the two. The Nina is slightly longer and wider, but the Natalie is fatter. Style wise, the Natalie’s puffy stuffed exterior gives it a pleasantly plump hand-feel, whereas the Nina is much less forgiving and easily marked (mine arrived with a dent in it!). I can imagine the leather becoming damaged from a sweaty palm print or a snagged fingernail very easily, whereas the Natalie really feels fairly indestructible. Natalie has a chic dark taupe satin trim around the edges, like a ribbon, and the Nina is the same trench-coloured leather all around. Finally, while the Natalie has the brand name embossed on the latch, the Nina latch is bare.

vs

In terms of internal chain, the Nina beats Natalie hands down. I never was too happy with Natalie’s puny, silver-esque chain, but Nina’s is long and elegant, and a pretty pale gold shade. It’s far easier to sling it across your shoulder, and the slightly longer look gives it a sleek mini shoulder bag feel. Despite having several bags with this feature (off the top of my head, the Mulberry Bayswaters, the Jaegar Kates, and the Oroton Odeion snake clutch), Kate never seems to use the chains on her clutches, and in fact rarely appears with a shoulder bag at all.

Inside

Inside, the bag is very similar to the Natalie – lined with a satin type fabric that has an internal pocket for credit cards, with the metal L.K. Bennett plaque attached.

Inside original

In the original, the plaque is attached with fabric, but the Nina has its plaque glued on. I also found it really difficult to fit my cards in the pocket, whereas the Natalie’s pocket was easy to get in and out of. Finally, perhaps a fault with my Nina, but the fabric was not glued rigidly to the corners of the bag, rather it had a smoothed effect where it felt like the fabric wasn’t reaching the edges, making the internal space a lot smaller than it should have been.

Fit inside

That said, what can you fit inside? Pretty much the same as the Natalie, to be honest – except the Nina is slightly better suited to the slimmer, longer phones of the current gen Samsungs and iPhones. You’ll be able to fit a phone, some credit cards, a lipstick and some change, but not a whole lot more.

Nina Trench 2

Overall, my impression of the Nina is that it’s an expensive bag considering it’s not as versatile as the Natalie – and considering the Natalie originally retailed at £140 (then £160) and the Nina starts at £185, the price per wear is going to be pretty high for me… Of course, the Nina is going to be a year-round clutch, whereas Natalie’s straw effect means it’s best used in spring and summer. And finally, the big question is going to be, does this new season trench match the old season’s taupe? The answer… No.

Trench vs Taupe

Trench is a much pinker-based nude than taupe’s yellow-based one. You can probably wear both together as they’re a close enough match, but they’re certainly not the same colour when you look closely. If you’ve purchased a pair of shoes from L.K. Bennett in trench, the Nina is probably going to be your best bet to match the colour!

Nina Trench

The Nina clutch is available here from L.K. Bennett for £185.

What do you think? Are you going to purchase one? Wait for a sale? Or skip this one all together? I’m still wondering whether or not to return mine…

Square logo initials

 

Russell & Bromley / Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon / Coco wedges versus Hobbs Myra wedges

You might have noticed my slight obsession with the Duchess of Cambridge – she’s one of my favourite style icons, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the royal family. So I’m very happy to scoop up any Kate purchases I come across when they’re brought to my attention by the lovely community over at What Kate Wore’s Facebook site!

One of my favourite ever shoes that Kate’s worn are the Corkswoon wedges – designed by the American label Stuart Weitzman, they were sold in Russell & Bromley stores here in the UK for a short period. Unable to get my hands on a pair, I plumped for the copykate Myra wedges from Hobbs, which retailed at £125. Thanks to a variety of reasons, I was only ever able to wear these out once, when I went to a Greek restaurant last year.

Untitled

Untitled

Needless to say, I loved them, but being a perfectionist, I couldn’t help but jump to it when I saw that Russell & Bromley had made the wedges available again to buy! At the price of £255, though, they’re over twice the price of the Hobbs Myra wedge, so in the interests of retail science, I decided to do a side by side comparison! But first, here is the epic story of how I got my wedges…

The Corkswoon wedges – as they are called in the US – have been renamed to ‘SW COCO’, and I found out from R&B’s Twitter account that they were available again for the new season. (Also available in a pretty silver shimmer colour too!) Unfortunately, by the time I got myself organised (three hours…) my size (7/40) had sold out. I decided to take a chance and ordered the 6.5 but they were too small. So, I signed myself up to receive updates when my size is made available again. Every morning at 9am I’d get an email to say my shoes were in stock, but after checking, they were sold out again, leading me to believe that there was massive demand that R&B was keeping up with by getting in new shipments everyday. It turns out I was hilariously wrong, as I eventually emailed them to ask them if they could put a pair aside for me as an exchange. What had been happening was that the email system was telling everyone who was on the list when a new size came in, even if that wasn’t the size they were after. In fact, there were no new shipments and they weren’t expecting any more through(!) BUT, they checked their inventory and found a pair in Mayfair for me. I rang the store right away, and they were able to post the shoes out to me. And so, they arrived today. And thus ends the tale!

Now for the comparisons! Hobbs Myra is on the left, and Corkswoon/Coco is on the right:

Mosaic 1

As far as I can tell, these are the main differences: the colour of the navy on the Coco is deeper and more even. The nap seems to be shorter, which gives it a tidier appearance. The cork differs slightly – the Myra has a more spotted finish, while the Coco has a series of lines… (I tried to look up to see if these have a special name but I couldn’t see anywhere that they do!) When it comes to fit, the Coco actually fits me much better than the Myra wedge. The back seems to be higher, although the Myra wedge has a nifty piece of cord at the back which helps to maintain grip. Finally, the most obvious difference is the cute gold SW button at the back of the Coco wedge!

Mosaic 2 small

If you’d like to see all the pictures in high res, you can visit my Flickr set here. You can also see another comparison between the Myra wedge and the Next wedges that they did last season which were a good match for the Coco wedges here.

As I don’t need both pairs, I’m going to be selling my Myra wedges – they’re size 7/40 and if you’re interested just email me using the contact tab above! As they fit me better than the Myra wedges, I decided to keep the Coco, but I honestly think that the Myra wedge is a fantastic replikate, especially considering the enormous price of the originals. The Cocos are nicer, but twice as nice…? I’m not certain!

Square logo initials

In search of: the perfect gold nail varnish

You know, sometimes you get an idea in your head, and you just can’t shake it out. I was like that with gold nail varnish for the past year and a half. I got it in my head that what I really NEEDED for the holidays was gold nail varnish. Proper bright, sparkly, beautiful, rich gold nail varnish, varnish that would say “HELLO CHRISTMAS! Yes, indeed, I am ready to party!”

People, I am pleased to say, my search is over.

IMG_5737

Please excuse the hasty rush job on these nails, I got over-excited when they were drying… Sigh. Anyway, I hope you can see that gorgeous shade on the bottom thumb there – that is the gold of my dreams! What is this exotic metallic varnish called, I hear you cry?! Why, it’s OPI’s Goldeneye! The MUST-HAVE gold varnish for 2012, I reckon!

In a clockwise fashion from the bottom, these are the ‘gold’ varnishes I am wearing: Goldeneye (OPI, the clear winner), Gold Coin (Revlon, just not at all what I hoped for, it’s basically just silver!) Glimmer (TopShop, my second favourite, but more of a bronze), Gold (GOSH, another tame looking gold), then Star Dust (Rimmel, another bronzy one).

Here, though, is the clear winner. Isn’t it beautiful? You can purchase this shade from HQHair for £11.