Summer for me is always nautical. I love nautical stuff, as I’m sure you’ve cannily realised from my previous posts. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on trends to get something stylish and practical, and one of my favourite places for affordable fashion is Next!
Ever since I booked my tickets for the McQueen show at the V&A museum next year, I’ve been thinking a lot about what to wear. Yes, it’s shallow on one level, but at the same time, as a fan of McQueen, I feel like it only makes sense to take something from the label with me when I go to view the exhibition – as a sign of respect more than anything. However, I have a couple of pairs of McQueen shoes, a skull scarf, my Swallow bracelet – but no bag. Like many people, I really love the knuckle duster box clutches, and I also have a soft spot for the Heroine bags, but they’re both out of my price range! When browsing through the collections online, though, I came across the gorgeous shape of the De Manta clutch, and decided that it would be the perfect bag to accompany me on my trip!
The De Manta bag made its debut in Alexander McQueen’s final show, Plato’s Atlantis, in spring/summer 2010. The collection was inspired by the concept of mankind returning to the sea following an environmental apocalypse, and many of the most striking designs showcased silk screen snake prints. The python clutch in the top left is one of the final items designed by McQueen, and as such it’s a pretty special piece. The shape of the clutch is unique indeed – it’s inspired by the shape of the manta ray, and the two folded corners are held in place by magnets. To open the clutch, you fold the flaps out and the zip is free to open completely. I just love how simple this is, yet how elegant it looks!
On the right hand side is the ocelot print clutch in twill from 2012, which is much hardier and therefore more fitting with my lifestyle! Perhaps my favourite two clutches are the middle two (all of the final four are current season), which are perfect for spring and summer – the lace/crochet print (yes, that’s a print!) silk bag on the right is sublime, but the floral print bag is the one that really caught my eye. At the bottom, we have on the left a feather print design, and on the right, a patchwork design, both in a heavy black and red which suits a bolder colour scheme! All of these clutches are the large size (there are also ‘mini’ sized De Mantas) and retail at £325. However, I may have located a cheaper, second hand ocelot clutch… More on that if/when it arrives!
What do you think of the De Manta clutch? Which one would you carry? And, do you own any McQueen bags?
It all started with those pointed Dale flats from L.K. Bennett… And then the French Sole nautical collection. And Modalu’s nifty fabric Riviera tote with that amazing navy and white stripe… Pretty soon, I was obsessed with all things nautical, and, well, it was pretty much only a matter of time before this happened:
On the top row we have the aforementioned Modalu tote (£75), and next to that, the Soho grab, also from Modalu (£89). If leather is more your thing, Modalu also do this amazing azure blue Artemis shopper, which is one of my favourite colours this season (£199). L.K. Bennett also have a couple of really cool nautical totes this season – at the end of the top row is the Hoxton canvas tote (£175), and the cool and quirky Lytham St. Anne’s canvas beach bag (£95, one of a series of three) starts off the second row on the left. Save your pennies with the simple chic of this navy striped tote with rope handles from Next (£20), or treat yourself to Kate Spade’s Welcome To Brighton bag (£130). Rounding out the bag selection are two clutches – on the left is L.K. Bennett’s embellished straw Evie clutch (£225), and the right is Kate Spade’s nifty Terrace Drive Abbett clutch (£245).
On to the shoes! On the top row we have French Sole’s red pointed Penelope flats (£180), then L.K. Bennett’s azure Connie espadrille wedges (£160). The L.K. Bennett team are mad for gosgrain this season, because they have several offerings that make use of the striped ribbon in a variety of colours – each of my selections is available in various bold striped patterns. Next to that on the end of the top row of three is another nifty pair of French Sole flats, Henriettas with a rope pattern that dances across the toes (£160). On the bottom row on the left are a pair of slingback pointed toe flats from Next (£26), another pair of simpler Henriettas from French Sole – I couldn’t resist the rope bow! – (£150), and then a peep-toe espadrille wedge from Next (£34). Finally, a Marlene block heel sandal from L.K. Bennett (£175), and those shoes that started it all, the Dale pointed toe flats, from L.K. Bennett (£150) – available in navy and white, azure and white, and raspberry and white, and all in that gosgrain finish I love so much!
Do you like to channel a bit of nautical style in your wardrobe come the sunnier seasons? Without doubt, nautical style is always in fashion during spring and summer, and I’m a sucker for it every time! Considering that it always makes an appearance on the shelves, it’s a smart investment to pick up a few nautical accessories to mix and match – you’ll probably find you end up using them year after year. Do you have an old favourite you like to bring out?
Day six of the Mini Mani Month, and today’s colour is Angel Wings, a pretty, shimmery white. Ciate says: “The perfect pretty pearl. Clean fresh and perfect for the ultimate high fashion look. Team with your cropped jacket and pearls for a finish of class and luxury.”
In all honesty, I found this hard to apply – it was quite streaky and I needed three coats to get rid of all traces of my nail colour. Also, because my nails often peel (ugh, I know), the shimmer caught the imperfections of my nails and showed them up, rather than helping to conceal them.
That said, the colour is very pretty and pearlescent, especially under soft lighting.
I had a Christmas present delivery today for my sister in law, and of course, I couldn’t resist adding a little something for myself too (the old one for me, one for you rule, I’m sure you’re familiar with it…) – a lovely new bottle of Pirouette My Whistle from OPI, which is part of the New York City Ballet collection, but is also beautiful for frosty, winter nails! It’s a subtle glitter in a clear top coat, with white hexagonal shapes inside (tricky to get those to stay on my nails, but I persevered!).
I think it adds the perfect festive finish to these nails – an extra dimension of Christmassy-ness!