Feline Fine

Leopard print has long been a perennial favourite of designers. There’s nothing subtle about it…. If you want to be noticed, its the go-to choice.

Often thought of as bold and brash, it struggles to shed a certain ‘Euro-trash’ or worse again, Jersey/Geordie Shore tag, but worn the right way, there is simply nothing quite so chic!

The tones of leopard are one of those wonder-trends that suit every skin tone-complimenting blondes’ soft tones, helping to add warmth to their complexions while maximising darker skin and hair’s sultriness….. A bit like Nars’ orgasm blusher!

The easiest way to wear leopard is by adding a splash in moderation. Think shoes, scarves, handbags. This gives just enough oomph to an outfit without wearing you.

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If you want to go a step further whilst sticking to the same ‘in moderation’ rule, pair a simple bright dress with a leopard print shoe or bag. This simple pairing is a stunning, fashion forward look with minimum effort. Cat Deeley clearly knows she’s on to a good thing!

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Dolce and Gabbana’s trademark flamboyant flair for fashion is epitomised by their consistent use of leopard print. They have dressed some of Hollywood’s finest in head to toe animal print but through their impeccably elegant cuts to their luxury chiffon and silk materials, they manage to endorse an altogether more polished take on leopard print. Look below to see how to look oh so puuurrrrrrrrty in leopard gowns;

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A leopard print coat is a classic investment piece. Look and see how her Leopard ensemble put the ‘Ooooo’ into Jackie O! This look was no doubt ahead of its time but it paved the way for fashionistas the world over to follow in her footsteps.

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Whilst researching this theme, there were two contenders for my Ultimate Pretty Kitty title. Their fearless and artful use of the print inspired me to re-think how I use it in my day to day wardrobe.
Contender # 1-Rachel Zoe.
Rachel’s confident, ostentatious style is a daring take on the look. She manages to break all the rules, layering gold jewellery over statement coats and neckties…..and yet she pulls it off with aplomb. Ok, I might not wear it to do my grocery shop, but this is high fashion at it’s finest and you can tell she’s loving it! Extra points for the leopard wedges at 6 months pregnant-a true style icon!

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Contender #2: Olivia Palermo
And yup, whilst I’ll admit to being biased when it comes to Ms Palermo and her impeccable sense of style, she’d be in anyone’s top 3. Unlike Zoe, she makes use of a more muted palette, mixing high end pieces with high street, blending leopard with floral, classic dresses and tailored outfits with printed booties and bright bags. She thinks outside the box and the resulting look is one of effortless uptown polish making us mere mortals wonder why we hadn’t thought of doing it first.

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Aaaannnnnnnd a few more too-good-to-not-put-up pictures that I ‘spotted’ along the way;

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Til next time kittens;-) xxx

HarperFeline Fine

Sea it to Believe it….

I’ll admit to being a fashion floozie. August has barely begun before I start to get excited about what the Autumn /Winter collections have to offer. So it comes as no surprise that we’re not even into December and already I’m lusting over the rainbow of oceanic tones that Spring/Summer are offering up.
The stunning spectrum of shimmering sea tones on the catwalks resulted in whimsical, ethereal trends that are sure to appeal to the inner mermaids in you!

Leading the way in Haute Couture glamour were Elie Saab who seemed to base his entire collection on aqua and glistening silvers, like the sun shining on waters of a tropical lagoon, Marchessa, whose gowns were more like moonbeams glowing upon midnight waves, and Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier, Chanel and Versace who filled every tone in between.

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The red carpet is akin to a fashion crystal ball, with designers vying to sheath A-list leading ladies in their new designs straight off the runway (and 6 months before they make it into stores). It was impossible to ignore the mermaid-esque gowns modelled by every self-respecting actress on the Emmy red carpet in September, a sure sign that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this trend come April/May.

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And while not everyone has occasion to wear these shimmering works of art, they’ll filter down to more wearable garments…..those aqua skinnies from last year will most certainly get a second airing! If like me, you want to incorporate touches of Elie Saab’s fairy tale glamour into your day to day look, reach once more for clever accessories. Chanel’s sea-shell clutch from Spring/Summer 2012 would be an ideal accompaniment. Also, pearls-the ocean’s jewels-are a classic pairing with sea foam tones-layer them up over blouses and jeans by day or with wispy, frothy dresses by night. Who knew mermaid-chic could be so accessible??

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Also, a little tip…..grey snake prints go perfectly with aquas, silvers and pastel blues and are ideal for creating this look. My feet will be bound to my Jimmy Choo Cosmic snake print platforms (as though I needed an excuse!) and they’ll like it!

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Have fun with this look. The colours meld so well with one another, the sky is the limit with how you choose to style them. Matthew Williamson mixed fine silks and intricate tweeds for a Bohemian daytime look and it seems the general theme to see how many embellishments the designers can load upon the swaying chiffon, to give an opulent, fantastical and dreamy look.

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HarperSea it to Believe it….

Work It!

I remember watching The Devil Wears Prada as a student and longing for the day that I’d have an excuse to get suitably groomed and glamorous every day of the week! I don’t feel too much guilt when it comes to indulging in work wear as the majority of my week (like most of you) is spent trying to present the best version of myself to the outside world. I believe that indulging in a few, great quality staple pieces is a long term investment-they work as a blank canvas that can be styled any which way my mood or occasion call for.

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Victoria Beckham has almost single handedly revolutionised this season’s work style, with her tailored, military dresses and new midi length skirts paired with knee boots and leather accessories reigning supreme. I cannot get enough of this look-it makes me feel instantly groomed and the midi skirt is surprisingly flattering….when you’re only 5 foot and wishful thinking, you embrace these trends! This military trend is a new take on Power Dressing-no shoulder pads required….phew!

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As much as I love to embrace a trend, staple pieces are where to make the real investments. A work handbag is an essential. I carry so many folders and notebooks when I’m travelling, I’d need a backpack! My current favourite is the Large Sybil in pony leopard. It ticks every box; big enough to fit all of my paperwork, my makeup bag and iPad….and still with room to spare, hard wearing and oh so chic in leopard print. No matter how simple the outfit, this gives it the Meowww factor!

I’m also a huge advocate of blouses; the finer and wispier the better! These are my go-to garment when I want to soften a suit or add colour, texture and luxe to my outfit. Pussybow, ruffled, printed….I love them all!! Zara do the best on the high street but if you’re thinking of higher end pieces, you cannot get much better than a tuft of Valentino lace peeking out from beneath a jacket…….I refuse to harden my look-I’m a business woman and choose to embrace my femininity in the workplace!

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People constantly bemoan the ‘chore’ of dressing for work. They see it as dull, constricting and similar to that of a school uniform. But it really needn’t be! Of course if you work in a law or accounts office, the palette will be a muted one. But dress this up with a bit of bling bling. A statement necklace layered beneath a shirt or over a camisole will instantly perk up a look, or a bright shoe with a grey or black suit. Simple details bring an outfit from snore to score in a second! Experiment with textures-black on black can be one of the most interesting and fashion forward if you mix hard and soft materials! Or play on the muted tones with modern cut suits-think Vivienne Westwood and Roland Mouret for inspiration. Or exaggerate the primness a la Angelina below.

Though a special mention must be given to Carrie Bradshaw’s Vivienne Westwood suit for her first day at Vogue. I have been hopelessly in love with this since I first saw it. It’s my fantasy work outfit-she embodies everything I aspire to be right there!

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And for those who have bit more of a free reign in the work place, enjoy it! Embrace colour! Now that we’re in the midst of winter we wake up in greyness, go home in darkness and are surrounded by black suits….paint your mark on everyone’s day and brighten up the boardroom. It’s the most simple way to draw attention to yourself and project a self confident attitude for as Miuccia Prada famously said; “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world. Fashion is instant language.”

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HarperWork It!