Sunday, 20 October 2013

ASOS Fashion Finder

First of all, HUGE apologies for the lack of posts in the past month or two, a lot has happened for me since I last blogged; starting 6th form, new/extra work ventures... unfortunately this blog has to suffer because of it.

I'm 'hoping' my work load settles down and I will begin a blogging schedule to keep on track.  There's so many exciting posts lined up that I want to share, which will be appearing over the next couple of months - so remember to keep an eye out!
I thought I would begin with reviving an old account I created some years ago on ASOS Fashion Finder. I love ASOS.  Loads of brands, clothes and accessories, they have every fashionable necessity I need. So as a way of finding my key season pieces and inspiration boards, follow CollarBlock on Fashion finder and check out my October favourites now!




Kat xxx

Sunday, 1 September 2013

PoW: LEATHER PENCIL SKIRT

If there is only one item you buy for A/W 13, make it something leather!

Last year, one of my favourite Winter items to wear was my black 'pleather' skater skirt from River Island. Fast forward past S/S13 and it seems the skirt has taken on a more tailored fitting in a variety of colours for A/W 13. The top colour for a pencil skirt this Winter? Well, I would choose Oxblood; a deep cranberry red/plum. Plus it's a colour which will go with most Winter colours; black, grey, plum and brown.

There's no need to think pencil skirts are only for formal/work attire either. For a casual day look, wear with a slouchy tee tucked in, tights and some statement chunky boots. Or even create a coordinating piece with a matching leather jacket, for a sophisticated look. For transitional outfits; from day to night, wear with a fluffy jumper and gold accessories.

You'll bound to be seeing pencil skirts crop up everywhere in stores. If you're looking for good quality, TopShop have a good range to choose from, some part of their Unique Collection. But if you're on a budget, 'pleather' skirts do just the trick and can be found at ASOS.

Kat xxx

Thursday, 29 August 2013

REVIEW: RAGGED PRIEST A/W13

The Ragged Priest has always been a favourtie of mine; and not just because I share part of their name! Creating unique renewals of vintage pieces, with dip-dye, studs and fabric combo's, I've loved it all!
Their style has always been edgy and is perfectly fitting with the A/W13 trend of Punk. With the collection filled with mis-matched tartan, leather and cut-outs, there are some definite statement pieces.

























If like me, you can't get enough of knitwear and sweaters, there are many great variations this A/W. A re-vamp of the plain old sweater, into the Angle Contrast Sweat, means you need only wear it with some black skinny's for a simple daytime look.
Aran and cable knit jumpers also look set to be a key trend for A/W - great for lounging around in! And the Ragged Priest's Drench Aran Knit has a colourful twist on the original.

Leather is also a focus piece in the theme. Last year, we had leather skater skirts - my favourite of A/W 12.
This year, it's all about wearing the basics in leather. From a plain t-shirt (below), to an a-line dress and pencil skirt; you'll definitely need at least one in your wardrobe!

For accessories and embellishment, anything involving fringing, studs, exposed zips or metal detailing is set for the punk trend. If you don't want to go over the top too much, simply wear a little bit of fringing on a crop-top or shorts like above. Silver jewellery is a good compliment with punk inspired outfits, especially fine chain necklaces and many rings, as they won't detract from the outfit.

As a final touch, don't forget a pair of Dr. Martens or cut-out boots!

Kat xxx


Sunday, 25 August 2013

PoW: THE KIMONO

To brighten up any outfit or to add a statement, Kimono's are perfect. From a huge choice of lengths, fabrics, colours, prints and embellishments; you can certainly find one tailored to your style and personality.

You name it. There's one for every occassion; casual/daytime, lounging, evening wear, etc. I personally love the plain fringed kimonos with colourful embroidered motifs, worn with some skinny's or disco pants and wedges for an evening out.

For a more boho vibe, a floral kimono teamed with a loose cream dress or white cropped jeans with sandals would look great at the remaining festivals! If you're looking for one, the likes of Ebay and TopShop have a good selection to choose from, ranging for traditional oriental prints, to more modern fabrics.

P.S. If like me, you received your GCSE's on Thursday, well done and I hope they're what you wanted!

Kat xxx

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Pick of the Week: JELLY SANDALS

Think back to when you were a kid having to choose from a selection of ice cream. There were a variety of flavours in bright colours to consider; do you go from pastel mint, classic vanilla, or even exotic mango sorbet? But whatever the flavour, it couldn't be without the final touch of a scattering of sprinkles!

Well, Juju's infamous Jellies are back, with the nostalgia from the 90's, where as a kid, they were all the rage. Just like ice cream there is a choice of 'flavours'; from neon to pastel, metallic to transparent and all in an array of colours, it's hard to choose. Not forgetting to top it off, a little glitter! Worn either with ruffle socks or on their own, they're a great addition for summer, even when the weather isn't at its best!

Hmm, I think I'll have chocolate please.

Kat xxx

Saturday, 10 August 2013

D.I.Y: LACE SHORTS


It's been a good 7 months since my last D.I.Y video and I feel its much overdue for another! This time I decided to recycle an old pair of jeans into embellished shorts, rather than to just throw them away.


You will need:
A pair of old jeans/shorts
Lace
Fabric Scissors
Pins
Needle and thread (for tacking)
Sewing Machine
Tailors chalk
                                         
See what you think and have a go yourself. If you've tried it out, don't forget to comment and tell me how it went!

Kat xxx

Saturday, 27 July 2013

MAGAZINE MATERIAL


From fashion and beauty to hobbies and home decor, there's a magazine to suit everyone's tastes, and I personally love them. Not just for the articles, but as picture references for inspirations or mood boards for projects.

At home, I have a small collection of back issues of Teen Vogue and Company Magazine, with one or two other mags thrown in there. Although I no longer read Teen Vogue, being American, you can't purchase much they promote. So the new British Miss Vogue has been a great alternative - let's just hope they continue with it!

Unlike other mags, the revamped Company isn't mainstream and focuses more on Bloggers in fashion. Don't get me wrong, I love to read others, such as InStyle, Elle and Vogue, but sometimes a change in focus is refreshing.


For those into crafts and sewing, I would definitely recommend Cloth. There are lots of simple and fashionable projects to have a go at, following the latest trends. As well as info about crafting events and where to shop.

Coverage on runway shows for every S/S and A/W can come on paper as well as on film. Both Hello! and Marie Claire's handbooks are practically picture books (which we all secretly love), just filled with Designer shows, to spot what upcoming trends will be.


WWD, i-D... the list of quality magazines to read is extensive and nothing beats the real paper deal. The electronic versions on tablets and phones just don't measure up to paper format.

Kat xxx


Saturday, 13 July 2013

INTO THE SUNSET

I seem to lack much variety of colour in my wardrobe. Amidst chunky knits, boots and cardigans in an array of blacks, navy blues and plums, I have a very limited selection of bright, summery clothes.

So I'm trying to train myself to be more adventurous and wear more colour this summer, which all starts with what I buy.

Dip-dye and fades of colour are definitely on trend for this summer and combines lots of bright colours nicely to lighten up an outfit!

Here are a few that have grabbed my attention when I've been browsing...
Bags - Furla, Shoes - TopShop, Watches - Nixon, Bracelets - Cheap Monday, Earrings - Tatty Devine, Dress - ASOS

Now, I definitely wouldn't go all out and wear this as one WHOLE outfit - I might just become a walking headache! 
But certainly, individually they would brighten up a potentially dull outfit.

Many of these items would also be perfect for beachwear on holidays, and the dress could make a lovely evening outfit with some sandals and gold accessories.

I absolutely love the Furla bags, they look a good size and are on trend for the transparent look too - shame about the price!

I hope you enjoyed this fairly short post, more will be up soon!

Kat xxx

Thursday, 11 July 2013

PROM

Last week, was my Year 11 Prom to mark the end of 2 years of GCSE's! It was lovely to see everyone dressed up, looking smart and each to their own individual style. The actual event flashed by, like most when you're having fun! But it was definitely a memorable evening, with music, photography and a sit-down meal (roast beef and chocolate fudge cake = YUM!)
On the evening I wore an emerald green dress I bought from Coast. I had originally intended to buy a long gown, but I felt this dress was perfect and more wearable for other events. What I liked most about this dress was the high neck and the pleated effect that made a diamond shape on the bodice of the dress. The dress was great for the humid evening as well because it was made of a light, airy chiffon fabric.
Emerald is also a key colour for S/S 13 which drove me to buy the dress. Emerald goes well with metallic colours, especially silver. I had intended to wear silver shoes but I was unable to find the 'right' ones, so instead I focused on metallic accessories.
The shoes I wore were from Clark's, which I'm so glad I bought in the end, as they didn't rub or make my feet hurt as much as other heels would. I usually find Clark's shoes a bit hit or miss, whether that's because I don't like the style, height or colourings. But these gave me a nice height without looking like a giant! (I'm 5"10).

To 'glam' up my outfit, I wore large crystal-esque earrings with a beaded clutch both from ASOS. The earrings were part of a pack of two and I decided to wear the larger stone earrings for more of a statement. What was great about the earrings was that they were lightweight, as with chunkier earrings you can run the risk of weighing the earlobes down.
The clutch was a good size and to my surprise was made of leather (which justifies its original price of £40, but fortunately I got it half price in the sale).
I also wore a bracelet I picked up in the sale for £3 in Republic (USC as it is now), which reminded me of the Cartier bracelets I love the look of.

BEAUTY

Overall I decided to use natural colours for my make-up and focus on my hair. A hairdresser put my hair into an updo, forming tight curls which were them put up into a bun shape. It worked really well with my dip-dyed hair too, which I was worried I would have to re-dye as I LOVE it too much, but it looked good with some blonde curls.
For make-up, I used Bourjois smokey eye trio in Vert jungle 14 with B's gold eyeshadow as a highlighter. The two together linked in with the metallic and green colours in my outfit and were long lasting. To finish off my eyes, I used my Maybelline eyeliner and Sheer cover mascara, as seen in my previous post.
On my lips, I used Avon's glazewear duo reflect in 'bronzed & beautiful' and Revlon's colourburst in creme brulee to seal the colour.
I painted my nails with Essie's 'buy me a cameo' and a glittery OPI nail varnish as a top layer. I also wore the Jimmy Choo perfume I got for my Birthday last year, as its a long wearing perfume.
I had such a fun time, getting ready and at the actual event and can't wait for another event like this! I know  its prom season at the moment, so if your getting ready or have had your prom, comment about it, I'd love to see your dresses!

Kat xxx


Saturday, 29 June 2013

DAILY ROUTINE: What's in my make-up bag?

*sigh of relief* Exams are over and the Summer is finally surfacing!

With so much time on my hands now, it was beginning to feel abnormal without the stacks of revision to do every night - but I can't complain, I wouldn't want to do it all over again!

So recently I've been thinking about what to blog about and I thought I would start with a little bit of beauty and what I'm currently using.

What's in my make-up bag?
I'm not the earliest of birds in the morning so I find I don't lend enough time to actually doing my make-up! I usually wear foundation but I found I was beginning to look 'cakey' and dry, so I switched to Garnier's BB cream in 02. It gives a healthy looking glow with a dewy finish. As its not a great coverage for spot prone skin, I use 'B' concealer and sometimes a bit of powder to give a flawless look.

Revlon Blusher, Garnier BB cream, Revlon face powder, Lancome Juicy Tubes, B concealer

Revlon are one of my favourite brands for quality and pricing. As well as using the Revlon nearly naked face powder in 030, I use their blusher in 'smoky rose', this is a subtle pink which highlights the cheek bones and I found it's great for me both in winter and summer.

Revlon Quads, Maybelline Eyeliner, Sheer cover Mascara
I like to experiment more with my eye makeup and I tend to create a smokey eye effect. I switch between Revlon's quads in Decadent and Siren, dependent on what I'm wearing. They're long lasting and come in a whole range of colours!

For eyeliner, I prefer to use the pots and I love the Maybelline eyeliner in intense black, along with Sheer cover's mascara to emphasise the eyes (part of a set). Again, the eyeliner is long lasting, unlike some brands and easy to apply.

In other news, I have recently set up Instagram - there's not much on there at the moment but I will be using it more frequently over the summer, so head over and follow me!

Kat xxx


Sunday, 26 May 2013

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?: Update & 1 year!

It's currently exam season which means like many of you, my time has been filled with nothing but revision!

So don't worry I haven't abandoned Collar Block and I hope to be posting shortly when my exam list is a little less hectic.

Which brings me to a quick update about what's recently gone on. Thanks to you, I recently reached over 1000 page views! This is amazing, as what started out as one of many ideas to do and mess about with over the holidays last year, did I think people would actually view and enjoy it!

As well as this, it is now exactly 1 whole year since I started this blog; admittedly I didn't start posting until June, but it's been a year since I designed and named this blog! And I can tell you there's lots more planned to come over the next year and maybe a few more YouTube videos?

But there's more. I want you, yes you reading this to get involved! I would love to hear you ideas on what you would like to see me blog about. From outfits to hauls, what's in my bag, etc. It's up to you! So drop a comment down below or e-mail collarblock@gmail.com with your suggestions and I will pick some to do over the summer.

In other news, here's a few bits and pieces I've bought over the past month, ready for the summer ahead - finger crossed for sunshine!

Shoes - Primark, Sunglasses - H&M, Watch - River Island, Necklace - Claire's



Face Powder - Revlon, Eye shadow - B. , Nail Varnish in Blue Moon & Peach Melba - Barry M, Lip Butters in Creme Brulee & Peach Parfait - Revlon

I'm really into my statement Jewellery, worn with a baggy t-shirt and some skinnies - it's effortless yet still stylish!
I also LOVE the RI Watch! For absolutely ages I have been looking for the perfect chunky watch. I was intending to get a rose gold one, until I came across this cream watch. I think it will be a great complimentary piece and will go with so many outfits in the summer.

For make-up purchases, I chose neutral shades which give a shimmer for my lips and eyes. I would definitely recommend the Revlon colour burst lip butters; there's a variety to choose from and they give a nice finish. Revlon's powder is great but there is only three shades to choose from; hopefully there will be more shades to come out soon.

All that is needed now is some sunshine!

Kat xxx



Saturday, 9 March 2013

THE ALL IMPORTANT DRESS

Recently plans for Prom have kicked up a notch. From book marking dresses to imagining the perfect arrival, it's a topical subject between friends and classmates.

But here lies the problem... I am ridiculously picky; no stiff satin, big gems/diamante encrusted, meringue dresses etc. Quickly filtering down the choices to a handful of dresses which actually exist. Not to mention every dress I pick out costs a small fortune! - I blame my mum for my expensive tastes.

So here are my very expensive yet gorgeous picks:
Halston Hertiage at Net-a-porter
I cannot get over how much I have fallen in love with this dress. The colour, the style, the length; it's all perfect... apart from the £545 price tag.
Money no object, this would be my dress in an instant! I prefer longer dresses for an occasion like prom just because where else can you wear a long formal dress? 
Worn with long neon earrings, strappy heels and a nicely styled up do, I would be all set. 

Leather and Chiffon gown, Metallic lace gown both from Harvey Nichols
An unusual colour choice for me but nothing stops these dresses being so edgy and elegant with pleats, lace and metallic! 
I think both dresses would look best with black or gold accessories. This would keep the outfit looking sophisticated, rather than wearing bold accessories which would detract the view from the dress. 
Natural tones for make-up such as browns, pale pinks and nude colours will compliment the dress well.

Long Catherine Dress by Alice Temperley

Black to prom may not be to everyone's tastes and I wouldn't usually choose it either. Although you have to admit with this dress is the exception! What I love most about this dress (apart from having my name) is the lace trim sleeves and detail. You wouldn't need too many accessories because the lace detail is the focus, but perhaps a small silver bracelet, worn with some bright red lipstick will add a little touch to the outfit.

Whilst looking on the Internet, I found a couple of websites for more affordable dresses which have a variety of colours and styles to choose from. A good rental site I found was Wish Want Wear, specialising in designer dresses at hire prices. Angel Dress and high street shops such as ASOS have some pretty prom dresses too. The best thing is to look in your local area for independent bridal/dress shops, they will have loads to choose from with the benefit of trying on before you buy. Plus, its likely no one else will have the same dress, compared to if you bought it from a high street shop.

Still on the hunt...

Kat xx



Sunday, 3 March 2013

SOMERSET HOUSE: VALENTINO

Hi guys! I hope you are all well.

Yesterday, I went up to London with a friend and my mum. For absolutely AGES I had been wanting to see the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House, and I was beginning to think I wouldn't be able to go - as it ends today. But very spontaneously on Friday night, we arranged to go up the following day!

Wandering round London

Seen as you enter the Valentino exhibition


The Grid


We also had time to go in the Courtauld Gallery looking at Picasso's early works.



Writing this post on the way home!

We went up on the Train to Waterloo and wandered around London, snapping up a few photos to help with my Art for school. It was quite chilly across the Thames and with forgetting my gloves, my hands quickly went numb! 

As we hadn't got any tickets for the exhibition beforehand, once we got to Somerset House, we had to queue to get tickets for a later entry. - This was the start of a long day of queueing!
With the tickets then in hand, we walked through the Grid at Somerset House, where it was much more quiet compared to the scenes at LFW! 

We stopped off at the Courtauld Gallery, to see the exhibition of Picasso's work before he turned to Cubism, as well as going through the rooms of German expressionism and the renaissance. - From Degas, to Manet, there were many famous artworks to look at.

After a stop at Bella Italia for lunch, we headed back to the Valentino Exhibition and it definitely didn't disappoint! There were 137 dresses spreading over 7 decades, all from Valentino's Haute Couture collections. The exhibition felt like you were walking down a catwalk, with either side filled with the gorgeous dresses and outfits, with tags next to outfits showing who had worn what on the red carpet. There were so many dresses I loved and wanted to wear! From lace to velvet and monochrome to sparkly numbers. All the dresses; whether made in the 50's or in the 90's, were timeless and you could imagine being worn in every era! - Giving me ideas for prom!?

Further on in the exhibition, there were videos and samples of some of the techniques used on the dresses, which I would one day like to try out myself. Many had been innovated by Valentino himself, especially a pale pink jacket made entirely out of fabric circles build up on top of each other. This meant as you moved, the jacket created a movement of its own. It really made you see the difference in Haute Couture, showing the most minute detail covered and sewn perfectly.

It was an amazing exhibition of Valentino's work, I had hoped to pick up postcards of some of the dresses or even a book, but there seemed to be only a few postcards to choose from and there was no book that showed any of the pieces in the exhibition. Other than that, it was a great day and I hope to go back to London very soon.

Kat xx


Sunday, 17 February 2013

LFW: SHOWS ONLINE


Last night, I decided to watch the catwalk show of Rihanna's collection for River Island online and I can tell you the wait was LONG!
The pre-amble started at 8.30 with the show starting at 9. However, the clips of Rihanna discussing her line repeated for nearly a whole hour, along with some shots of people walking in! - running very fashionably late!

Audience shots out the way, when the show did start, I genuinely loved the pieces. Rihanna had said that she designed clothes that she would wear and you could definitely see RiRi wearing anything from the line. The collection mainly consisted simple shapes but were made edgy with high slit skirts and sheer fabric.

There were lots of washed denim looks and monochrome, as well as floral prints in citrus colours or creams. I wasn't too keen on some of the fishnet looks, but my favourite overall was a deep navy hooded shirt, worn with matching trousers. It was a loose fit like many of the pieces and had a sporty element. I thought it would be such a nice thing to wear with skinny jeans or a leather skirt, adding something different to an outfit, compared to a usual shirt.

The staging was also interesting; different to a usual catwalk. There were three 'boxes' which the models posed in, then moving to the next. I thought this was a great idea as it meant you could see the outfits more times than just the once. Overall, I can't wait for the clothes to be sold in RI, as there are some really nice pieces, just have to wait to the 5th of March!

Did you see the show? Tell me what you thought.

Kat xx

Saturday, 16 February 2013

REVIEW: J.W.ANDERSON FOR TOPSHOP

Hi guys!

Officially yesterday, the second J.W.Anderson collection for Topshop was available for purchase. For many, this was long awaited after the success of the previous collection. - I especially loved the Turtle print and so wanted to to buy the printed top. I was just too slow to purchase!

So now I thought I would do a quick review on the S/S collection 'Twisted Sisters', with my thoughts and favourites.

From previous collection; If only I'd bought it!
S/S 13 Collection
The Style is 'quintessential school-girl style' with a 'hint of underground kink' and as you can see, there is definitely a school style influence; pinafores, pleated skirts and polo shirts! Simple, sleek lines and curves look like a key feature of the collection, in a minimalist colour palette. However, I love the lilac colour of the neoprene fabric! Here are some of my favourite picks:

Dress, Jacket, Sunglasses, Boots, Blazer, Shirt, Top, Bag, Jumper 

A lot of these pieces compliment each other and are not badly priced for their quality. The denim blazer goes well with the matching dress for a formal look. But could be toned down with one of the JW jumpers.

For sport luxe, the neoprene top or jacket will look great with shorts or sweatpants. Not to mention, they're made in Britain; so your supporting British Industry!

As it's London Fashion Week at the moment, over the coming days, I will post about trends and Designers,  more so for S/S 13 but I may post some about my favourites from the new A/W collections. Don't forget to look our for it!

Kat xx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS - A partridge in a Pear Tree

It's the last day of the 12 days of Christmas - oh no!

So all our decorations came down today meaning its back to normality tomorrow, which I'm not looking forward to!

But for now forget tomorrow and have a go at this little tutorial for a hanging bird, which you could stuff with lavender to smell really lovely!

You will need:
Fabric
Felt
Matching Thread
Tacking Thread
Pins and a needle
Fabric scissors
Tailors Chalk
Sewing Machine
Stuffing

The template





Well, that's Christmas done! What did you think of the 12 days of Christmas? Would you like to see more sewing tutorials?

Kat xx


12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS - 2 Turtle Doves

Top - Topshop, Shirt - Johnnie B, Jumper - M&S, Skirt - River Island, Boots - Topshop, Bag - Topshop



























This outfit was based around the top which reminded me of the turtle doves (just as there were two birds!) This is a layered outfit I would wear when it's colder and on warmer days I would just wear the outfit minus the jumper.

Hope you are all well.

Kat xx

Friday, 4 January 2013

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS - 3 French Hens

Going along the lines of '3 french hens', here are a couple of French style inspired outfits, that can be worn on an everyday, causal basis.

Coat - Vintage, Bag - Topshop, Scarf - Vintage, Jeans - New Look, Shoes - Topshop, Watch - Lorus, ,Bracelet - Laura Ashley

Dress - Johnnie B, Shirt - Vintage





























The coat I have absolutely fell in love with and I can't stop wearing it! I recently bought the bag and bracelet in the sales, so I have been experimenting and trying them out with different pieces and I'm sure I'll be using them lots this year!


























Hope you are all well.

Kat xx