Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Haute Pink

The Paris spring 2010 couture shows are going on at the moment, which means has become my daily distraction as I lap up the delicious designer concoctions. I am thrilled to see pink on the catwalk yet again, and looking so cool, as per the Alexis Mabille designs above. The young french designer whose first couture collection was adorned with more than 1500 bows, takes a more minimalistic approach this season. I love the contrast of the cerise pink and black and the models' hair is just the icing on the gateau.
John Galliano's collection for Dior took inspiration from the horse riding all American woman, and the Charles James dresses he saw displayed on a visit to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum, NY. The hot pink, perfectly nipped in riding jacket makes me want to take up riding in a similar way that reading stable adventures when I was younger encouraged me to take a brief sojourn in the saddle. The reality soon sunk in. Riding should be all glamour, adventure and Dior jackets, not rain, mud and hay.

I also love this intricately embellished rose pink shirt, that looks so exquisite and unreal it could only have been sewn by fairies.
Technically not much pink here, but I couldn't help but mention the Chanel couture show. Oh Karl, Karl, how do you do it? How do you instill in me a desperate need for metallic silver tights? (without a lottery winning ticket in my purse these Pamella Mann ones might just have to do if I succumb to my desire - at £9.75 they seem a student friendly alternative.)

Karl Lagerfeld transforms the Chanel woman into a galactic goddess and throws in a boquet of ice cream shades - if the pastel trend wasn't already set to be big for spring, it is now. Blush pink, lilac, pistacchio and lemon - I for one can't wait for the mouth watering colours to consume the high street. Winter has been too long.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Love Pink.. Love LOVE

With Valentine's Day approaching, romance is very much in Vogue. Get in the romantic mood and wear you heart around your neck with the latest craze in jewellery. Think vintage charms, lockets, antique gold and messages to make any girl swoon. This is a jewellery trend that has sent me head over heels. Here are my favourite crushes:

The image above is of my number one favourite. Yes, it's Rob Ryan. AGAIN. I wish I could decorate my life with his artwork, I would be in a state of eternal, soppy happiness. 'The key to my heart lies buried deep dreaming of you' reads this laser cut wooden key (£23). The necklace is on sale at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (and on their online shop) as part of the Rob Ryan exhibition which is running until the 21st of February. I am absolutely desperate to go, but I don't think I can persuade someone to drive me the 4 and a half hours there, nor could I really manage the 5 hour train journey and its £115.70 fare (and that's with a railcard). Sigh.

Meanwhile I will just have to cheer myself up with the rest of this loved up jewellery...

I love the pink floral locket above (£12 Diva at Miss Selfridge), especially for its cute little bow.
Cupid strikes again with this gold heart and arrow necklace, £6 at Diva by Miss Selfridge. Simple, but sweet.
Accessorize offers up this pretty envelope necklace, complete with tiny love note. And at just £5 it won't bring your admirer to tears (after all, diamonds aren't ALWAYS possible...)
This Charming Girl make hand made vintage look jewellery straight from dreamland. Their quirky pieces pull at heart strings and are reasonably priced too. 'He who holds the key can unlock my heart' reads the inscription of this cute necklace (£9). It comes in silver too but I prefer the soft gold colour for its loveworn feel.
Another envelope and love letter. Despite the pink heart on the Accessorize version, I think I prefer this necklace (£13) for the finer chain and delicate writing.
This is my second favourite of all this jewellery. I am learning French and Italian and if I could I would learn every single language under the sun. That is why this 'Language of Love' necklace (£9) appeals so much.
And for a touch of pink, this kissing swans cameo necklace (£9).
The Parlor is another online boutique that makes lovely handmade jewellery with a vintage feel. The pink flowers, locket and 'Je t'aime' charm make this bracelet (£39) a recipe for a Libby hit.
I think of all the jewellery this locket ring (£12) has to be the cutest. The only difficulty will be finding a picture of your amour tiny enough to fit inside.
Available to buy at ASOS is this Juicy Couture silver heart necklace (unfortunately £83). 'You are the fairest' aww.
Folksy is a fab website for buying and selling handmade anythings. If you're looking for something a bit different this is the perfect place, as lots of things are one offs and everything is made with love. I love rabbits so this 'Queen Rabbit' heart necklace (£18.50) caught my eye. It is made using Liberty print fabric and is strung on an antique look brass chain.
Also on the Folksy website was this 'From Paris with love' necklace (£16). It's just so pretty!
I have long loved Urban Outfitter's range of jewellery. I think these LOVE stud earrings (£6) are LOVEly. (They also come in a 'hate' version but I MUCH prefer these.)
This pretty heart pendant (£16) opens up as a locket. I love this pale gold colour and the locket is just the right size to carry the one you love.
Also cute is this pearly 'Love' necklace (£14). Exclusive to the website, get your mits on it quick.
Practical and pretty: this gorgeous gold heart which is also a working clock. (£24) My favourite from Urban Outfitters.
'I love you' is the message on this little gold heart (naturally). Also sweet is the blush pink rose charm that hangs from the thin chain. A dainty, whispering love.

All in all love is in the air, and I very much approve. And any one of these would do just perfectly on Valentine's Day thank you very much!

(Only joking, of course.)


Friday, 22 January 2010

Libby Loves

Rain makes me slightly gloomy, so I cheered myself up today by this Rob Ryan necklace on the Tatty Devine website. To cheer myself up even more I also created my own version of the things that I would wear on my heart... So the top image is Libby's Loves.


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A lovely little bit of Lunacy

How can I fail to love a shop that has a flamingo for its logo? I love online store Lunacy Boutique for its sugarlicious jewellery and quirky accessories. Here is a pick of my favourites...
What more does a girl need than a bright pink cuckoo clock? And at just £17.50 I'd call that a bargain too.
And now for something sweet... Lunacy Boutique have been dipping into the cookie jar for inspiration for their delicious range of jewellery. Wear your favourite confectionery around your neck with these necklaces, from £13.

This marshmallow bracelet (£15) looks so realistic I have images of myself subconciously nibbling on my wrist if I was feeling peckish. Marshmallow shades are going to be big this summer, so why not have some fun and go for the real thing?
These earrings, £8 are so cute. Iced gems make me think of the birthday tea parties I had when I was younger, as do jammy dodgers which take pride of place on rainbow hair bows for £7.50.
I think these dolly mix earrings (£5) are my favourite Lunacy Boutique find. Dolly mixtures are my favourite sweets, and I think these could be set to become my favourite earrings.
This grinning toast ring (£5) and gingerbread man brooch (£4.50) made me smile.
Crayons make me think of my primary school days, and at just £4.50 these quirky crayon earrings are fit for pocket money prices too.
With Valentine's Day coming up this sexy legs necklace (£23) with its inundation of tiny pink hearts seems very fitting.
What's there not to love about a sky blue purse (£26) featuring two kissing lovebirds? The romantic inside me sighs a happy sigh.
And finally... I didn't even know handmuffs still existed. I am very pleased to see that they do. These look like furry little creatures screaming out to be hugged. At £18 the only question is, which pattern bow to choose? Or maybe it's best to go for all three and make a happy, snuggly handmuff family, a different bow for every outfit.

Visit the website at


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

My latest pink acquisition...

Last week I went to Cribb's Causeway, and rejoiced in the Accessorize sale. Normally I avoid sale shopping; I find it too stressful. Squeezing through hords of fashion ravenous shoppers, tiptoeing around the piles of clothes that people seem to enjoy throwing on the floor... and then comes the dreadful confusion: do I really like that dress, or am I simply blinded by its £5 price tag? When it comes down to it I would rather spend a bit more on something I really love and enjoy a pleasant shopping experience where I don't leave wanting to kill someone.

That was until I saw the Accessorize window - hearts, trinkets and rainbow colours drawing me like a moth to a flame. I just couldn't help myself. I was there early, and the shop was nearly empty, so none of the aforementioned sucking in of my breath to squeeze past people. Enjoying the delicious calm I drifted around the shop in a happy daze. I left with a red waist belt, a pair of heart earrings (I'm a sucker for anything with hearts on), a beautiful embroidered bib type necklace and... this sequin union jack bag. I had admired it before but couldn't quite justify its £30 price tag. But £9? I MUST HAVE THAT BAG!! I absolutely love it, and if the multi-coloured sequins and patriotic emblem weren't enough, the cerise pink lining stole my heart.

If you want to get your hands on your own Accessorize are now doing a red, white and blue version, or go Americana with stars and stripes.

I can't wait for a chance to wear mine, but for now it is hanging from my hatstand where I can gaze lovingly at it every day.


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Pink Does Not Stink

Dear Editor,

I heard about the ‘Pink Stinks’ campaign whilst I was in London doing my second work experience placement at Cosmopolitan. I was outraged, as I owe my work experience, among other things in my life, to the colour pink. I have always loved pink, so much so that this year I wrote a book all about the colour, aptly named ‘Love Pink’. I want to be a fashion journalist, and when I sent the finished book to journalists I was offered work experience at the Evening Standard and Cosmopolitan. The colour pink has opened doors for me, and I will always think of it as (hopefully) the start to my career. 

Some of the most memorable events in my life have been painted pink. I wore a pink Union Jack dress when I met David Cameron, who wanted to congratulate me on having produced ‘Love Pink’ at the tender age of sixteen. I presented him with a pink Union Jack tie (“This is the tie to see of Gordon Brown,” he said) and shall remember the day for the rest of my life.
I love everything pink. When I wake up in the morning I am met by a pink flamingo standing at the foot of my bed and pretty pink things adorning every surface of my room. I resent the stereotypical ‘Barbie’ image of pink. Perhaps as a bubbly blonde who loves the colour pink the ‘Pink Stinks’ campaigners would pigeonhole me as an airhead. But I am not. I object to the idea that embracing your femininity is construed as a sign of weakness or ditsiness. I am head girl at my school, I gained 10A*s at GCSE and wrote ‘Love Pink’ whilst studying for my AS levels and organising a charity fashion show. Yet I am also a girly girl through and through. But what is wrong with that? Although it may not have always been the case (as I was intrigued to discover when interviewing a V&A curator for ‘Love Pink’) pink is now undeniably the colour of femininty, and I think we should embrace that, not shun it. Women tied themselves to railings and went on hunger strikes so that we could live in a society where women are equal, but still women.

The colour pink is symbolic of other things too - most notably for me as the fight against breast cancer. The colour pink and I have now raised over £1000 for Breast Cancer Care, as I am donating 70% of the profits from my book to the charity. I think pink has greatly helped the campaign against breast cancer, by giving it a symbol that is instantly recognisable. With perhaps the exception of the ‘RED’ campaign againgst Aids, I would argue that no other colour has the power to build such a strong connection with a cause and communicate a message so powerfully. 

Despite these connotations, pink is happy, carefree and romantic - a well needed antidote to the gloom and doom of today’s society. To me a fight against the colour is not only depressing (why ban the funnest of colours?) but outdated and irrelevant. You just have to look at this month’s Vogue to see that I am not alone in loving the colour pink. With fashion stories titled ‘Sorbet Shades’ and ‘Pretty in Pink’ it is clear that the fashion world is still very much in love with pink. But it doesn’t stop there. 

When I was writing ‘Love Pink’ I wrote to journalists and celebrities asking them questions about the colour pink, such as what was the favourite pink thing they owned, and what would the colour pink smell like. The responses I then included in the book. It wasn’t just fashion journalists that replied (although many of them did) but Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley and Sarah Brown among others told me why they love the colour pink. But it didn’t even stop at women - Evening Standard editor Geordie Greig said an ice cream coloured pink tie was his favourite pink item. I was met by such enthusiasm when writing the book. For so many people the colour pink meant so much, whether it reminded them of their childhood or of their mothers - and I would argue that no other colour conjurs such emotion. 

The ‘Pink Stinks’ campaigners argue that young girls are forced into pink, and that the colour is swamping the toy market, for example. But do you see girls complaining? Of course there are many girls who don’t like pink - my sister was one of them - but for a huge number the story is: anything as long as it’s pink. And what on earth could be wrong with that? I photographed some fairies for my book - two little girls who spent the afternoon dressing up as pink fairies and playing in the garden - and as they pulled out pink dress after pink dress, they honestly couldn’t have been happier. Taking pink away from girls is like taking sparkle away from Christmas - you’d have to be a grumpy old Scrouge to want to do it. And back to the argument that little girls are ‘forced’ into pink - well how is dressing your children in lilac or blue any different? You are still choosing what your child wears, and ‘inflicting’ your decision on them - of course you are because children can’t take themselves down to the shops and buy their own outfits. However, if they did, I’m sure many of the girls would head straight towards the pink section.

The best day of my life was my book launch this year, and it was also the pinkest day of my life. My friends, family, teachers and everyone who had been involved in the book donned pink (men and women alike) as we drank pink champagne and ate pink cupcakes amongst pink balloons and buckets of pink gerbera. I think it is no coincedence that the happiest day of my life was so pink. Because pink is a happy colour, you just had to be in the room to feel the jolliness it was inspiring; it is comforting and lovely. I would defend the colour to the hills in front of anyone, however miserable and anti-girliness. I shall always love the colour pink, and as the ‘Pink Stinks’ campaigners might have underestimated, I am far from the only one.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

'Pink is the navy blue of India'

'Pink is the navy blue of India' said Diana Vreeland, a former editor of American Vogue. Such reads one of the quotes in my book. However it was only today that I discovered what prompted Vreeland's famous words.

Tomorrow is my interview for the BA fashion journalism course at Epsom, so I am spending today preparing - which means reading fashion books, and lots of them (what a perfect day). At the moment it is 'Norman Parkinson, A very British Glamour'.

As I was reading this photograph made me stop.. wow. Norman Parkinson was a pioneer in exotic fashion shoots. Previously photographers had mainly worked from the studio, however Parkinson took his models out of the studio and on to the street, and in this case, to India. The photo is of model Anne Gunning in a Jaeger pink mohair coat outside the pink City Palace in Jaipur, a ceremonial elephant and men dressed in hot pink in the background. When Parkinson returned from India he showed this photograph to Diana Vreeland, who said "How clever of you, Mr Parkinson, also to know that pink is the navy blue of India."

Not only was Parkinson one of the first to photograph models in locations such as the City Palace and the beaches of the Bahamas (photoshoots abroad now an expected part of fashion magazines), but he was one of the first to use colour photography. Parkinson was drawn to colour, and after seeing the American issues of Vogue and Harper's in "glorious colour" whilst London still lay in the grey grip of rationing and old fashioned ways, he moved to New York to work for American Vogue, leaving its British counterpart.

Looking at the vivid shades in this fabulous photograph, it is difficult to imagine it simply in black and white. Colour breathes vivacious life to this image, and that colour is pink.


Pink Posters

The walls in my room are covered with pages from magazines and postcards I have collected. I love just sitting at my desk and looking around me, tumbling into the beautiful photographs. It is little surprise that many of them are pink. Here is a selection of my favourite.

The image above is a Stephen Sprouse outfit from a shoot in Vogue. Sprouse was the dayglo designer of the 80s whose clothes were worn by the coolest kids in town. This startling hot pink outfit sums up his style, and is to me, perfection.
A Rayban advertising campaign.
I love this image of Sophie Dahl for Vogue. The pink gloves, the jewel scattered dress... she looks like a pensive fairytale princess.
My mum couldn't help but buy me this Rococco Rose chocolate bar when she saw the wrapper. Not only is the wrapper so beautiful, but the chocolate is too. Dark and rose flavoured, it really did taste like roses, and the colour pink. I thought the wrapper was so lovely I pinned it to my wall. It reminds me of the prettiest tasting chocolate I have ever eaten.
'This love is on fire'
A pink Marilyn Monroe pouts down at me from my bedroom wall.
I tore this page from Vogue and added it to the collection on my wall so that I can always look at it and admire the beautiful ruffles of that pink dress, which reminds me of red cabbage. It is from a Tim Walker shoot and the model is Karen Elson. Tim Walker is one of my favourite photographers, and Karen Elson one of my favourite models. His photos are a fairytale, whilst she looks unlike anyone else; I would kill for those smouldering curls. The most expensive book I have ever bought was Tim Walker's tome 'Pictures' (it was £40 on Amazon but usually retails for £70), however it was worth every penny. From houses bedecked in ribbons and balloons to pastel coloured cats, every image is a mouth-watering concotion of rainbow coloured dreams. I wish life was really like the fantasy world Walker creates in his photographs.
Yes, it is Rob Ryan again. I love that man. This Rob Ryan card sits next to my bed, propped open next to my bedside lamp so that the light shines through it, illuminating the words, the kissing figures silhouetted against the fuchsia background.