Sunday, 28 February 2010


Presenting my new shoes, from Evans which I purchased yesterday. Pretty aren't they. But where the flippity am I actually going to wear them? And with what? Still its lovely to buy something that has a bit of colour to it, prancing about the house in them last night was spirit-lifting in itself.
I have to say sadly these were about the only thing in Evans that I wanted to buy. What with the relaunced blog and images from the spring catalogue that were light years ahead of the usual poly-jersey tat that the shop sells I was hopeful for better things. But I still found the selection very conservative and uninspiring and worst of all the quality of the materials used was pitiful. Print dresses that look pretty from a distance as you get closer show signs of limpness and lacklustre colour that would get considerably worse after a couple of washes (see how middle-aged I am).

I was unexpectedly in search of colour yesterday on a quick shopping trip into town which saw me purchase a green stripy cardigan from Betty Jackson Black (pic hopefully to follow) This makes it the third green cardigan in a row I've bought to celebrate spring. It must say something about me. Also whilst looking at depilators in Boots I was accosted by a young Benefit salesgirl who persuaded me to sample their lovely new Sugarbomb blush 
Four colours in one-how could I resist?  

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Anna Scholz-In Black and White

Anna Scholz has announced on her website today that she is splitting her collection in two. From now on there will be White Label using luxury fabrics and detail and selling at familiar designery prices (around £369 for a maxi dress) and more excitingly, for us mortals not posing for a magazine shoot, there is her new Black Label Collection which is priced a bit lower; this lovely poppy print dress is £195.

That's not as cheap as her diffusion collection for Simply Be, nor her erstwhile Debenhams line from the early 1990s which I loved, but its more accessible nonetheless. While I very much like the AS range and  admire it as being one of a tiny number of high-end brands designed for plus-sized women I do feel that the shapes used are a bit repetitive. There is a sense that every collection retreads the wrap dress, maxi-dress and kaftan permutation in every new print that comes into her workshop.  So while I might want to buy one dress for a summer wedding I'm not sure that I'd ever need a second one.

However there are some directional bits in the black label that seem fresh; like a cute nautical tunic which I think is a wise way to go towards developing a clientle.  Also the website benefits hugely from having the clothes modelled on a human being rather than the old dress form. I'd still wish for more tailoring but still this is another reason to feel optimistic about the amount of choice there is out there for non-standard sizes. The range is available from UK size 18-28.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

ASOS Curve

It looks like it might be an excellent spring for plus-sized shopping. A few things have converged around just now to make me think things are rosier than they have been for ages. Firstly there was the publication in the Guardian last Saturday (30th January) of Young, Fat and Fabulous a glorious article by Kira Cochrane highlighting the vibrant world of plus sized fashion blogs which thrive despite an (until now) complete lack of media presence. I knew of some of the blogs mentioned such as Fatshionista and Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too but I had no idea of the scale and diversity of what's out there. I'll just mention The Pocket Rocket as one which is beautifully written and laid out for now. I guess the USP of this blog if it has one is that I'm a generation older that most others and I'm desperately trying to avoid the matron look. Not that Hattie Jacques couldn't rock a look, but still. My elusive search is for a middle ground where fashion concept meets quality. If Banana Republic made clothes in my size I'd have nothing else to write about.

From a scan of these blogs I've learned that Evans spring collection for 2010 looks to be a real leap forward in terms of style with delicate frilly dresses inspired by Chanel and Balmain shoulder-padded jackets. I'll look forward to browsing there for the first time in ages.

I'm also greatly inspired by the launch of a new collection in size 20-26 by ASOS called Curve which intelf is a genius name, how come noone did that before? Its a small collection of about 50 pieces including the boring basics like vests and leggings. (I guess we all need them for layering). However there are some fantastic things like a long line double breasted blazer and stone me: for the first time in my life i am considering the purchase of a jumpsuit as the range has a strangely alluring Chiffon cross -front number. It helps tremendously that all the range is shown on a real human model. I have already ordered the navy blue dress shown here to wear with skinny jeans and I'll need to find a chunky gold-chain necklace somewhere to go with this.