A Perfect Contradiction : Paloma Faith has me coveting strong coat shapes in soft colours.

You know when someone asks you to describe why you admire someone and you just turn into a gibbering, fan-girl wreck?

Oh.

Is that just me?

For my 20th birthday, I received tickets to see Paloma Faith perform with The Guy Barker Orchestra at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, as part of her ‘Symphonic Grace’ tour. She was breathtaking and her backing singers were amazing vocalists in their own right too. Paloma wore the most fantastic black, Tom Ford dress with a shimmering, spark-like design embellished on the front.

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Symphonic Grace.

(There’s no non-creepy way to say this…) We hung about for a short time, after the show, by the stage door; hoping to meet her. Not surprisingly, she didn’t come out, but I didn’t blame her. If I was Paloma, I wouldn’t want to stand in the rain, talking to some random girl, when I’ve to get to Edinburgh the next day, either.

Since then, I’ve been surviving off her tweets and tidbits of stories and music from my boyfriend’s Dad; who is, to me, the font of knowledge for all things Paloma.

But, *shriek*,  ‘A Perfect Contradiction’, the new album, is to be released on March 10th.

Naturally, Paloma has been doing the press rounds and seems to be on every television channel at the moment. Last week, she arrived in Manchester to appear on BBC Breakfast and this picture was taken of her at Piccadilly Station.

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Paloma Faith arriving in Manchester.

I loved the Dolce and Gabbana ensemble that she wore that morning and, paired with her pink coat and hat, I thought she looked lovely.

You don’t always find practical trends on high-fashion catwalks, but i’m pleased that the industry has produced something useful for our British climate, for once: some really nice outerwear.

I like the idea of contrasting soft, pastel colouring with bold and interesting shapes and i’m coveting these coats, particularly:

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Textured Swing Coat, Topshop £89.00

Topshop has this ‘textured swing coat’ for £89.00. The mint colour is very youthful and summery, but it’ll be proper-Spring soon! Although it’s a little expensive, I feel that this is a piece that you could get a lot of wear out of; worn during the day with a crisp, white shirt or at night layered over a dress. I’m the girl that uses the cloakroom at a club. I don’t freeze for anyone when i’m out!

Whilst i’m not sure if this colour could be strictly classed as ‘pastel’, for more a more mannish feel, I love the over-sized fit of this ASOS ‘Duster coat’. For some reason, it reminds, very much, of the garments in the latest Burberry campaign, despite it lacking the waterfall shaping on the front. I’m not sure that this coat is the one for me though, with my height (or lack of!).

More expensive at £265.00, I like this blush ‘Regale’ coat from Reiss. To me, this coat feels a little more timeless than the others. I like it’s structure and the mandarin collar. I’d buy this and wear it for years.

An inspiration for this post was this image on Instagram from Elle UK and there’s been some weird goings-on at Paris Fashion Week 2014:

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Eh?

This picture shows models on the catwalk at the Rochas show. I was drawn to the pastel coats on display, but what is with the rubber gloves? If you do go out and purchase one of the above then, apparently, you’re to go and get yourself some Marigolds because the ‘fashionistas’ tell us so.

There has been some sense at PFW, however. Hussein Chalayan provided models backstage with these, last Friday:

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I’ll promote anyone who promotes pastry.

I’ve thought a bit more about why I like Paloma Faith and it’s not particularly her insane talent. Whilst I adore her vintage style, coupled with her penchant for the kooky and unusual, that’s not why I look up to her and follow her music.

I think it’s because, despite her seemingly glamourous life, she doesn’t appear to have lost herself.

You look at these power women like Beyoncé and they’re so elusive and illustrious, but I couldn’t imagine sitting down for a brew with her once she’s taken her make-up off.

I find Paloma’s apparent lack of self-confidence endearing and the idea that she spent the beginning of the Met Ball hiding in the toilets is hilarious and makes me love her even more.

Go out and buy the album. ‘Rely On You’ features Pharrell for goodness’ sake.

J.

Sorry, Miranda : Why i’m choosing Reiss’ florals for SS14.

Have you seen the latest Richard Curtis blub-fest, ‘About Time’, yet? It’s rare that I view a film twice in quick succession, but this story of time-travel and falling in love has broken my resolve, because i’m a soppy romantic and pathetic. I’m at six views and i’ve only had the DVD for three weeks. Yes, I am one of those lowly people that enjoyed ‘The Notebook’, so the very fact that it has Rachel McAdams in it was enough for me to give it a go.

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The Great British Summertime.

My friends and family would tell you that my usual blabbering is now punctuated, frequently, with an annoying, mock-teary exclamation of:

“We’re all travelling through time together!”

I haven’t been to Cornwall before and I wasn’t particularly fussed about changing that fact.  I thought everyone there was a fisherman or something and that they live off cream teas and pasties (which sounds great, actually). However, I now want to go and skim stones at the beach like Bill Nighy. The film features the most beautiful shots of Cornwall landscapes and they’re making me dream of sunshine and holidays, garden parties and balmy evenings.

Despite my Dad telling me that we’re forecast snow in the North-West (where has he got that from?), Winter is over for me and i’m looking to Spring/Summer. It seems that, on the High Street, Reiss is well ahead of me.

For their SS14 campaign, Reiss’ model looks wholesome and somewhat dainty and the leafy setting of the shoot, for me, captures that fresh, Spring feeling.

I have some serious hair envy going on, too.

For this season, their colour palette is muted and understated. Reiss’ fabrics are light and breezy, without compromising on quality.

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I know, right?

This could be seen as an obvious choice, but I particularly like this ‘Crawford’ dress that i’ve been lusting after, online. As it is double-layered, the dress will move beautifully when you walk. The pockets are a plus as i’m a bit awkward about party dressing and I like this relaxed, added detail. I’d pair this with some black sandals with a reassuring ankle-strap – why bother with a gorgeous dress at an event and then spoil it by walking like a baby deer? Next has these for £28.00.(Orrr wear flats! See my post from Wednesday)

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The ‘Crawford’ Dress at Reiss.com £159.00

Alternatively, I have found this cheaper dress in Zara for £39.99 (yes, I think Zara is becoming a theme on my blog), which I saw on my last visit to the Cathedral Street store in Manchester.

As a customer, I admire that Reiss appears to be more individual and entrepreneurial than other, more corporate, brands. It appears that this retailer is on the rise and, for me, Reiss accessories have become particularly covet-worthy over the last few seasons. I love the ‘lime sorbet’ colouring of this leather ‘Fennel’ shoulder bag. The streamlined shape is particularly appealing to me and it’s an accessory I could see me wearing day and night. For £159.00, I’d want to. A present for my half-birthday, anyone?

I couldn’t write a post about Reiss without mentioning their tailoring. For event dressing this Spring/Summer, i’d choose this double-breasted ‘Monza’ blazer. Again, the colour is lovely and I think this jacket would look nice draped nonchalantly around the shoulders.

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Blazer, French Connection £150 £25

For jackets of this double-breasted style, I recommend a trip to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet Shopping Centre in Ellesmere Port. I spent time rifling through the racks at the French Connection outlet and bought myself a double-breasted, grey, herringbone blazer reduced from £150.00 to £25.00.

So, short and sweet and not particularly opinion-dividing recommendations today, but I feel that Reiss’ designs, whilst striking and directional, are classic and wearable. When i’m spending £159.00 on a dress, that’s important to me.

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Tuesday.

It’s my final post of my first week blogging and I wanted to say a big thank you to you all for reading. I thought that last thing people would want to see is my thoughts, word processed, but I have been overwhelmed by your positive response. A tweet in my first week from a London-based fashion brand was a big boost and, coupled with all your supportive messages, has given me the confidence to pursue my blog with enthusiasm.

Happy Friday Everyone! Have a lovely weekend!

I’m going to go and watch ‘About Time’, again.

J.