We've got a lot of love for this label. Each season they head off in a bit of a fresh direction. But unlike some other labels, they never lose their way. It's always effortlessly cool. And you always know it's Bellerose.
This season is still a little bit American teenager but now she's gone on a European holiday and met the ever talented Mr Ripley. Gone are the eclectic get-ups and mad clashes of colour and print. Instead, the pallette is super gentle; all washed out blues and greys and hits of yellow. The t-shirts and knits are all easy peasy. And the classic stripe is a cause for celebration; bold over cute cotton sun dresses and Breton-style tops; fine over floaty silk maxi skirts.
Our favourite heritage hat maker Christys' are back with an irresistible line up for winter. Our headcount starts with the beautiful, oversized floppy Kimberley trilby. Next up is the utterly girly Penny soft cloche with its big felt bow, followed by the ultra classic Henley snap brim trilby. Bringing up the rear, we're still loving the trusty crushable Western.
This works really well if you have a glut of fruit in the garden...
2 kg grapes
4 cooking apples (sliced but don't peel or core)
800g sugar (depending on quantity of juice)
1. Remove grapes from stalks and put in preserving pan with apples and water
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins
3. Strain juice through jelly bag overnight (or for at least 4 hours). And don't be tempted to squeeze the bag as this will make your jelly cloudy.
4. Measure the juice into preserving pan and bring to the boil
5. Add sugar (for every 1250 ml of juice, add 800g of sugar)
6. Return to boil and continue to boil until setting point is reached (if you put a teaspoon of jelly on a cold plate the surface should wrinkle when pushed).
7. Pot into Wek jars and seal.
It's not every season we can shout about a mainland exclusive. And it's Engineered Garments' hard to come by Workaday line no less. Primarily designed for the Japanese market, it's a collection of exceptionally made basics; seasonless and timeless clothes, designed to be worn through and through. Thermal hoodies, selvedge denim, Oxford shirts, khaki pants and five-pocket cords - the pattern and construction of each piece remains the same season after season, ensuring they earn their place as enduring classics. Daiki Suzuki's utility jacket has already become somewhat iconic in the menswear world. Get yours now.
Oh to be five years old again. When a tutu was your wardrobe staple and it was ok to tear aroud acting out your ballerina fantasies to your heart's content. If you mourn those days then this for you. Bilitis Dix-Sept Ans. A Japanese label who make exquisite, grown-up versions of our daydream outfits; part ballerina, part Paris street style; full net skirts, heavy lace blouses, gathered yoke wool coats and angora sweaters; the imaginings of designers Yuko Seshimo and George Hoshi who dreamed up the line around Bilitis, an imaginary 17-year-old French girl. Five, seventeen, whatever age, they are indeed the kind of clothes dreams are made of. Timeless and ever so beautiful.
Season after season Collette Dinnigan has kept us hooked with her signature lace and immaculate embroidery. Lucy and Victoria grabbed five minutes with the Australian designer at a recent buying appointment for a brief heads up on the super pretty, jet-set world of Collette.
Where and when are you most productive?
In the design room with my team.
What do you like most about what you do?
That no day is the same. I love that about my job.
Who or what inspires you?
Women inspire me. Unpretentious women who work tirelessly for others without any expectation of recognition. In turn, these women remind me how important it is to help others and our environment.
What project, collection or collaboration are you most proud of?
The realisation of my book is something I am incredibly proud of. It is set to be released in October of this year, and has been years in the making.
What has been the most important lesson learned?
To learn to trust my instinct.
What would you like to do in the future?
More interior design.
What is the Collette Dinnigan team's guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and heels.
Lastly, you've a day to spend at leisure in your favourite city. Where would you be and what would you do?
Sitting in Paris, enjoying a leisurely lunch, watching people pass by, followed by an afternoon of shopping.
We look forward to news of Peter Jensen's latest madcap muse almost as much as the arrival of his beauiful creations. This season the Danish designer chose lottery winner and Smith's cover star Vivian Nicholson as his leading lady. Intriguing indeed.
In 1961 the cake factory worker was aged 22. Borrowing £5 from her mum, she and her husband put it on the Littlewoods pools and won the equivalent of £5 million. Initially announcing she would ‘spend, spend, spend!’, within five years the money had indeed been squandered, paving the way for a best-selling autobiography and later a stint as a strip club singer covering 'Hey Big Spender'.
‘I was having a hard time working out who should be the muse for this season and then I found the 12" of The Smiths,’ Jensen says. ‘I looked at my drawings and something clicked. My work looked like Viv, like the 60s, it was a perfect match.’
The result is the 60s meets a good measure of Jensen. At one end of the rail a diamond jacquard shift dress, cropped jacket and neat silk crepe blouse, and at the other, a daschund emblazoned knit dress and a sweatshirt sporting Viv's infamous words - spend, spend, spend.
We're smartening up our game in menswear in the later months of AW13. It's decontructed tailoring all the way. Beautifully cut tweed jackets. Heavy wool pants and twill chinos. Clean-cut, unfussy shirting. Brogues, brogues and more brogues. Teamed with interesting scarves and spectacles.