Our other favourite Belgian brand launches this week. And Just in Case bring a touch of glamour and prettiness to the proceedings with a collection titled 'Take This Longing' (no,we're not sure why either but they obviously had a feeling for Leonard Cohen). The jackets are signature jaquard (tasteful or crazy depending on your mood). The cotton sundresses are perfect holiday wear (elegant stripes or faded chintzy) and the knits are all a little bit glittery and very pretty. Not one single piece to suit the Bard of the Bedsit though.
This collection is here by pure chance. Victoria and Lucy were at a buying appointment when they caught sight of a crazy colourful rail of clothes in the corner of the room. Turned out to be this season's answer to occasionwear.
All the way from sunny Spain, Vilagallo delivers great shapes (pencil dresses to a-line tunics), lace and sparkle in showstopper colours; dresses that somehow manage to pull off attention-grabbing and tasteful at once. We think they're equally suited to a glam Ibiza party or English country wedding. One celebration or another, one thing's for sure, we have finally been tempted away from our boyfriend jeans.
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.
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.
Jumpers, jeans and boots, done. As we head into the latter half of the AW13 season, womenswear takes on altogether more sophisticated look. We're dancing away the hours of darkness in the prettiest of party dresses, a haze of tulle, lace and embroidery. Glittering in jewelled collars. Respelendent in all manner of fake fur.