Tuesday 26 September 2017

Pam Hogg SS18 | London Fashion Week

Pam Hogg SS18 London Fashion Week - Pink

Fashion month is coming to an end for yet another season, and SS18's catwalks have definitely given us something to talk about until next February. This month's shows nodded to several trends seen this spring/summer, including ruffles, sheer layers and the colour pink (it's not backing down, guys).

However, there were some notable trends that presented themselves in a new light. Paneling was shown by Peter Pilotto, Gucci and Marni, and there was an abundance of cartoon and pop art prints from Versace, Moschino (of course) and Prada. You may have also noticed that volume is back with a vengeance, with puffball skirts from Mary Katrantzou, all-over frothy meringue silhouettes from Simone Rocha, oversized-to-the-max blazers from Marc Jacobs and billowy sleeves from Prabal Gurung and Emilia Wickstead - all things that I, being 5'4", wish would go away for fear of looking like one of those toilet roll dolls that your mum kept in the bathroom in the 90s.

Pam Hogg SS18 London Fashion Week - Yellow

Pam Hogg was her usual rule-breaking self this season, distancing her designs from the categorisation of the SS18 trend report with a mood-boosting colour palette of bright blues, greens, yellows and pinks.

The colour-loving designer reinvented her signature jumpsuit for the lighter seasons with sheer mesh and PVC, with the added pleasure of tulle in tights pleats that spanned the entirety of the outfits' lengths.

My favourite outfits in the collection featured shiny trenchcoats, which were designed in three options: black, white and dusky pink. With huge lapels, front pockets and tie waists, these stunning coats brought a mix of utility and sexiness that showed us yet another facet of the designer's fascinating creative mind.

The finale consisted of a bright pink sheer jumpsuit with tulle ruffles, marbled platform boots and a two foot tall leather mask with matching tulle embellishments. This was soon followed by Pam and longtime muse Alice Dellal, in shiny trenches and matching yellow and black polka dot neck scarves.

Pam Hogg SS18 London Fashion Week - Black
Images c/o Pop PR

Monday 11 September 2017

Get cosy for the autumn equinox

The astronomical calendar, which determines the seasons based on celestial events, says that autumn starts on September 22nd. But, let's face it, it's got just that little bit colder - too cold for summer dresses and outfits sans coats - and if you like to go by the meteorological calendar (which is used by the MET Office in all their officialness), then autumn has already begun.

I welcome the season. Call me weird, call me basic. I don't care. I dislike hot weather and autumn brings a welcome break were I can cover up my chub that I've accumulated over summer (because who wants a 'bikini body' anyway?) with light jackets and tights.

Plus, Halloween is on the way. And that's my second favourite holiday. Christmas is first. Obvs. Throw in the beautiful reddening foliage, an abundance of cosy boots in the shops, and delicious seasonal produce, and you've got all the reasons why I love autumn.

So whether you've already bought your pumpkin, or you're holding off for as long as possible, below is a list of a few lovely things to get you in the mood for fall.

1. Union Hand Roasted Coffee Equinox Seasonal Blend, from £5.75

This seasonal blend from Union hand Roasted Coffee changes two to three times a year to give you the freshest flavours from Finca Santuario in Columbia and Huadquina in Peru.

Try this on crisp autumn mornings as an espresso, and enjoy the taste of candied orange, dark chocolate and caremelised peanut.

2. Camel Coat, £129, Zara

Camel earned its place last year as the colour of the autumn runway with Michael Kors, Max Mara and Calvin Klein all showing the hue in their shows.

This one from Zara is not only fashionable, but practical, with deep pockets and double buttons to keep the wind out.
3. Office Alabama Boots, £88 at House of Fraser

Team these hard wearing buckle boots with tights and a dark floral day dress for style goals.
4. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips in Dangerous Liaison, £24 at Cult Beauty

If you didn't see Charlotte Tilbury's new product drop earlier this summer, where were you?

The Hollywood Lips lipstick in Dangerous Liaisons is a stunning muted red shade - your new autumn lippy?

5. Felt Pumpkins, £7.84 at Etsy

One word: adorable.

6. Aisha Alpaca Jumper, €550, Acne

So this is a little extreme - but then, if you can't in autumn, when can you? This super snuggly knit from Acne looks to good to pass up on when paired with black jeans. No need for a scarf.
7. Moss-knit Blanket, £39.99, H&M

Invest in this comfy knitted blanket - the stunning emerald green colour will see you through to winter and appear very stylish in the process. Pair with as many fluffy cushions as your sofa will allow.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Drink coffee, help the environment

For me, there's nothing selfish in the act of drinking coffee. In fact, you could say it's completely unselfish - when I drink a cup of coffee, I'm more alert and more likely to listen to what you're saying, I'm chirpy so I'll probably put you in a good mood, and I've had a little bit of an indulgence so I'm generally calm and relaxed (a good time to tell me that something's gone wrong, so I can deal with it without breaking down...)

But wouldn't it be great if that cup of coffee was just a little more 'unselfish', say, if you were helping out a community, its inhabitants and even the environment by drinking it? I think a lot of us would feel warmer inside if that were the case (and not just because we've got hot coffee in our tummies).

As you might know, the human race is using up resources like there's no tomorrow. Just last month, it was revealed that we have consumed more natural resources than can be reproduced this year - so we're now eating into 2018's allowance. If we go on this way, there will be no more earth for us to live off - and I'm not one of those people that fancies jetting off to some 'earth-like' planet in a cryo-chamber - so we need to find more ways to sustain what we already have.

Union Hand-Roasted Coffee have done just that. Their Yayu Wild Forest coffeesupports the Yayu Forest Reserve, one of the last and most important remaining places for the preservation of wild Arabica coffee. However, it's not just coffee that grows there - the reserve is also home to numerous rare plants and animals, and hosts Important Bird Areas of international significance.

Despite coffee farming generating up to 70% of incomes for over 90% of the population at Yayu, farmers still struggle to make a sufficient income. This causes farmers to turn to non-forest crops, which results in deforestation and biodiversity loss. It's Union Hand-Roasted Coffee's aim to increase the income of these farmers, in turn maintaining the forest, and to work out how to protect this unique environment against climate change.

If this sounds like your cup of coffee, I'll just add that the Yayu Wild Forest Coffee also happens to taste good, too. It's perfect for a morning bevvie, with its instant citrus zing to wake you up. Following that, you'll find a syrupy body, notes of marzipan and dark chocolate, and a bourbon biscuit aftertaste.

I drink mine with a bit of almond milk, but it's also great as an espresso.

Find out more about Union Roasted's Yayu Forest coffees here.

*Gifted for review
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