Sunday, 28 April 2013

Look Book : Going Out Tops For Katy

I’ve been really enjoying pulling together these look books for you, and it’s just as well as I have a few to do!  This one’s for Katy…

I really want a few nice tops that I could wear in a number of ways.  So, when I go out I don't always want to wear dresses, but I struggle to find an alternative. I have casual, quite plain tops, or smarter work shirts, that I don't tend to wear out because I associate them with work. So could you recommend something that it is funky and a bit special (not too covered up!) That I could team with some trousers and heels for going out but that I could throw a cardigan on top of and wear with jeans and pumps for a day out. Is this possible or am I asking too much from one little top!

No, you’re not!  I think it’s such a shame to keep clothes for best, so I'm all for helping you find tops that you can wear on a night out but dress down for day when you want to.  I’m sure some of your work tops would be great for nights out, but I totally understand you not wanting to wear ‘work’ clothes out of work.  I have a few items that I keep just for work and if I try to wear those out of work, it just doesn’t feel right...somehow I’m not in the right head space. 

I’ve pulled together two sets for you, the first one illustrates three suggestions styled for the evening and the second one below that, should give you some ideas on how you might want to dress them down.  I hope it helps!


Going out top for Katy

Warehouse block top / River Island black shirt / French Connection halter top / River Island sleeveless top / Oasis / Topshop / Oasis highwaisted jeans / Zara lining shoes / ALDO shoes / ALDO shoes / Zara leather handbag / Triangle jewelry / Yellow gold jewelry / Kurt Geiger silver earrings / Zara real leather belt


Going out tops, dressed down - Katy

River Island peplum tank / French Connection silk halter top / Warehouse / Hennes h m cardigan / Oasis flared denim skirt / Topshop petite boyfriend jeans / Warehouse / Topshop suede moccasin / Office lining shoes / Office leather shoes / Joules green shawl / Straw hat / Topshop western leather belt

Don't forget, if you have a fashion dilemma that you need a little help with, or fancy getting your own lookbook then email me here!  And if you need a little more help then get in touch here. Niki x

Friday, 26 April 2013

Being Brave With Neon

I’ve started wearing far more colour recently.  The Indian women always look stunning draped in colourful saris and I feel pretty drab in comparison when I’m dressed head to toe in black.  But while I’m introducing more colours to my outfits, there is one shade my wardrobe’s not too familiar - Neon.   A friend of mine bought me such a pretty scarf for my birthday last year, it's a mixture of nude tones and fluro colours and I love it, but as for wearing clothes in highlighter shades, well that’s a BIG step outside of my comfort zone.

I’m always pushing my clients and encouraging them out of their comfort zone, so every so often I like to try and do the same to myself…I guess it’s only fair, right?  So, with that in mind, I took myself off to Zara (one of the few western retailers to open in Bangalore) to find a neon item worthy of a place in my wardrobe.  I found heaps of brightly coloured accessories that I’d I’ve gladly taken home with me, but that would have been far too easy, and besides I have a ton of accessories already.  No, it had to be an item of clothing.  I have to admit, I was struggling but then I spotted this cute collared blouse and after trying it on, I was convinced it was the one.

The shape is so pretty and although it’s VERY bright, the print design somewhat breaks up the colour a little.  Of course I had to team it with my black jeans and black pumps (I’m not that over black) but I think it would look great tucked into these spotted trousers or this skirt.  What do you think?  Do you every try to push yourself out of your comfort zone, or is it just me?

Top, Zara. Jeans, Donna Ida, Pumps, KG. Necklace, Diana Porter.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Lusting Lately : Studded Fashion

It’s no secret that I love anything that’s studded, whether it’s a studded belt, bag or shoes, they pretty much always feature in my outfits.  It’ll be no surprise to you then, that I’m lusting after all the clothes and accessories adorned in studs!  A lot of the items on the high street can easily be recreated at home - all you need are a selection of studs (I buy mine from here) and a pair of pliers, but some of the things are a tad complicated or would simply take days to do.

The top below is my favourite, it has a late seventies rock thing going on which I’m kinda into at the moment (I’m talking Led Zep, Deep Purple and Sabbath seventies rock, NOT the ‘hair metal’ variety)

Lusting Lately : Studded fashion

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Pretty Inspired : Palms and Frangipani

It was my birthday last weekend and I had a lovely time!  Despite being so far from Bristol, I was made to feel very much at home, here in Bangalore, thanks to a really lovely group of friends and my husband who all spoilt me rotten and made sure I had a great weekend.

On the Sunday, we went to Leela Palace for a lazy day by the pool.  The weather was gorgeous and I spent the whole day soaking up the sunshine, cooling off in the pool and reading this - which by the way, is an awesome book!  You must read it!! 

The palms and Frangipani looked beautiful silhouetted against the sunshine, the colours and shapes they created were stunning!  I tried to capture them on my phone, and although they didn't turn out quite how I wanted, I quite like them.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Lookbook : Shirts For SJP

Since posting Lou’s lookbook I’ve had lots of emails from you sharing your wish lists with me asking for my help.  I think this is going to be a great feature and am SO excited about pulling together your look books.

This one is for Sarah (go and check out her fabulous blog for all the local fashion news as well as some great outfit posts) she commented below Lou’s lookbook saying “I want to wear more shirts but with, ahem, a larger chest I find it hard to not look 'mumsy' in them - any tips?”

I actually hear this a lot! Many women feel that they can’t wear shirts or blouses for fear of looking mumsy in them, but there are quite a few styles out there that are great for you.   The key is to avoid too much detailing around the bust like ruffles and pockets, and anything that is going to make you appear broader like epaulettes and puffy sleeves.

It’s also a good idea to keep a couple of buttons undone at the neckline.  Other than that, opt for fitted styles that highlight your waist and if you want to wear looser styles, make sure you tuck them in, to avoid them swamping you and hiding your frame.

Advice : Shirts For SJP

If you have a fashion dilemma that you need a little help with, or fancy getting your own lookbook then email me here!  And if you need a little more help then get in touch here. Niki x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Pretty Inspired : Hand Block Printing Studio

I love seeing other people’s studios, there’s something interesting about seeing how they organise their space and how they work.  I visited Tharangini hand block printing studio a few months back, as soon as i walked through the door I wanted to start designing there and then!

The piles of hand carved printing blocks were crying out to be touched and the books crammed full with hundreds of different designs were so inspiring that I got out my own sketch book as soon as I arrived home.  Sadly I didn’t get to try my hand at block printing as we were short of time, but I WILL be back!  How can you not be inspired by a place like this?! 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

On My Way Back

As you read this, I'll be on the last stretch of my journey home to Bangalore (I just said home, didn't I?!). I was in Bristol for just over three weeks to see clients for the spring summer season and boy did the time absolutely whizz by!  I started work the day after I landed and was busy morning noon and night until a couple of days ago.  It always amazes me that I’ve been away from the UK for 6 months, but then as soon as come back, it feels as if I never left…India is a distant memory and I’m able to get straight back to running my business in person, picking up where I left off the last time. 

As I write this, I’m in Dubai airport grappling with mixed emotions.  I’m sad to be leaving again; working and seeing clients was just brilliant, I loved meeting new clients and catching up with regular ones.  And I loved every minute that I spent with my family and friends, but I also missed Al - tons.  He wasn't able to take the time off work to go back with me so we've been apart for the last three weeks and with our busy schedule and the five hour time difference, it’s not been easy to find the time to catch up.  Being back in the UK was fantastic, but without Al it didn't feel quite right, and I also felt a tad guilty enjoying some of the luxuries that living in the UK brings. 

Life in India is so unbelievably tough for a lot of people and coming home just enforces how lucky we are, how easy life is for us over here in the UK and how many opportunities we have…even at the moment when times are so tough.

It occurred to me how fortunate I am to be able to do what I do – I spend my time living in this amazingly crazy and inspiring country; India, and return home each season to see clients and run my business.  I realised that I couldn’t waste a minute of my time while I was back.  I had the opportunity to continue working and growing my business, so that’s exactly what I did.  I may be absolutely shattered right now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I'm not telling you this to brag and I guess I've worked really hard to keep my business running while I’m in India, it’s just that I never expected to feel this way about moving to India and wanted to share this with you and encourage you to grab hold of the opportunities that come your way...don't be afraid of change or of failing as it might just lead to something simply brilliant! 

It was 12 months ago today that Al and I arrived in Bangalore.  We’re half way through our adventure and I fully intend to make the most of my last year living in here and to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way (as well as the opportunities that I have to go out and find). So watch this space!

(Image via  Pink Lemonade Designs)