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Moving house

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Apologies for a lack of posting this week, I’ve been a little busy. Things have been picking up in PhD land, and in addition I have been designing a whole new home for ScientistChic! With a few more tweaks ScientistChic.com should be ready to go in a day or two, with a new and (I think) improved look. When everything is up and running I hope you will swing by to have a peek! I hope that the move won’t affect any wordpress.com or RSS subscribers – I am working to make sure that everything gets properly re-directed.

See you all on the other side! Has anyone else made the leap from a free blog to self-hosted wordpress? I’d love to hear any top tips that you have! xx

Favourites from MODO 2012: “The Olympia Show”

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Here are a few of my favourite pieces from other collections shown at the MODO show. I thought that the range of skills and ideas on display was fantastic, and doubly impressive considering that all of the students presenting pieces in the show are not from a fashion-related course. This is what we do in our spare time, and we love it.

I had a couple of personal favourites, pieces or shows that stood out for various reasons. Some because they were conceptually brilliant (or off the wall!), others for their beauty or simply for being extremely wearable. My favourite piece from the entire show was the sparkly midnight blue dress designed by society treasurer Aminat Omotosho. Gorgeous design and colour, this is the kind of thing that I would just love to have in my closet for a really fancy occasion. More relaxed looks were to be found in the collections of Badia Al-Hussein, who channelled a great holiday vibe, and Lucinda Dimbleby who had a slightly more vintage take on the concept of sportswear. Also channelling the sports side of the “Olympic” theme, Rosie Willard presented a collection of candy stripe dresses and shorts, and one particularly covetable men’s sports jacket. Of all the collections I saw, I found Rosie’s the most inspiring – I just wanted to head off to a fabric shop straight away to try and recreate the look!

Finally, a review of my favourite pieces would not be complete without a look at Erin Saltman’s bizarre and wonderful collection, which descended further into madness with each new look. One model rode on the back of an accompanying male model, another was carried slung between two boys, and finally Erin herself brought the final male model down the catwalk on a leash, before fainting away into his arms to be carried off. This truly was fashion as a high concept spectacle, and for me was one of the most entertaining moments of the evening!

February favourites

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March is here, and in my book spring has officially sprung. I celebrated this morning with a slouchy pink kimono jacket, floral trousers and not a shred of knitwear in sight. Was I frozen? Of course I was, but the sun was shining, I have a cinema date tonight (The Woman in Black - I’m looking forward to a classic scare!) and the beginning of March marks thirty days until my next injection of PhD stipend cash. Bank account, meet The Outnet, I think you two are going to get along fabulously.

February in the laboratory…

♥      I have become addicted to puglypixel. Katrina’s PhotoShop tutorials have pretty much quadrupled my knowledge of graphic design over the space of a couple of days. I decided to put some of my new skills (and her brilliant ribbon labels) to the test in this post by putting together some photo layouts. Now I have become addicted to downloading new fonts, and have a really strong urge to redesign my entire blog. Watch this space…

♥      Sewing has been a major theme for me over the last month, whether putting the finishing touches to my collection for MODO, or doing a little DIY on a vintage red sailor dress found in a charity shop (above). Yes, there is a BRAND NEW charity shop on my high street – that gives me four in the space of a mile *big happy dance*. Thank you RSPCA.

♥      My favourite purchases of the month: cobalt blue French Connection “Dee” desert boots, half price in the ASOS sale, and shiny silver nail polish from Barry M. Supposedly this polish creates a ‘foil effect’, whatever that is. Looks great and shiny whatever it is supposed to do!

♥      Finally, I was a very lucky girl this Valentine’s Day. Nothing to do with the boyfriend, although we did cook a slap up dinner and have a lovely romantic evening. No this year I was treated to a gorgeous parcel of goodies from F&F, chosen for me by the quite frankly brilliant Sherin (of Hi Fashion). Thank you!! The parcel contained a gorgeous green dress, which will be featuring in an outfit post before too long with another pair of recently purchased shoes…

What have you been up to over the last month? And what fun and funky plans do you have in mind for March? xx

My debut collection, part 2: Liz Harley AW12

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Black felt cropped jacket with contrast trim and hand-knitted scarf, modelled by Andreas

Geometric cross-halter dress, modelled by Badia

So here it is, my first (and probably last) collection of clothes. Chris recorded the whole show for posterity, and even managed to shoot a video of my collection for me – thank you!! After all the mania and stress of the last few months I will very likely return to just running up the occasional dress in my spare time rather than producing a coordinated collection. But the adrenalin rush of seeing your own creations in motion on the catwalk is pretty powerful. I had major goosebumps!

Hand-knitted brown cape with contrast chevrons, modelled by Sachin

Geometric cross-halter column dress, modelled by Sophie

There now follow a lot of thank yous, because this was an incredible experience and despite getting horrifically stressed I enjoyed every moment of the final experience. Thank you to MODO who made this experience possible, my four models who were excellent, my mum and her spiral seam dress pattern, and my best friends BioElle and Hannah for their support and wooping during the show! Finally, thanks and hugs and chocolate cake to my other half Chris, who has had to put up with a lot from me over the past few months and despite having to work for a large chunk of his Saturday still came out to support me and act as ScientistChic’s principle photographer.

I have literally hundreds of photographs from the show (Chris did me proud!), and will be showcasing some of my favourite looks from the other collections over the next week or so. There was an incredible range of talent and skills on display, and some of the creations were truly breathtaking. Congratulations to everyone who took part – the whole event was a spectacular showcase of student talent.

Keep your eyes pealed on Facebook – I will be uploading more photos this week as they pass through the editing process! x

Wardrobe wishlist via Pinterest

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1. Sailor dress, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel

2. Loafer wedges, Tibi

3. Red Posie Ring, Tatty Devine

 4. Gold brogues, Clarks

5. Spotty tights, Jonathan Aston

6. Neutral panel dress, Surface to Air

 

Since joining Pinterest last week, one of my most active boards has been my “On my wishlist” – a little collection of all the things that I may or may not end up spending money on! Recently I’ve been drawn to neutral base colours with bright accents, like the orange Tatty Devine ring or the (amazing!) golden brogues. I’ve started feeling decidedly spring-like recently, mixing up splashes of bright colour with wintery blacks and greys. I think a little stripy sailor dress will be perfect for when the sun finally makes a more prolonged appearance!

Follow ScientistChic on Pinterest by clicking here, or via the button in the sidebar. 

Mary Katrantzou x Topshop: A review

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Smart Mary K: Trousers, orange clutch and boots – ASOS | “Natural Urge” polo neck – Antipodium | cape – Zara | Green velvet bow from my ribbon box

I should preface this post by stating for the fashion record that I have never really been excited about a high street x designer collaboration before. Lanvin, Swedish Hasbeens, even Versace passed me by and I didn’t really notice or miss them. But the one collaboration that I have been waiting impatiently for over the last few months, lusting over images of the collection and nervously checking my bank balance for sudden miraculous growth, was Mary Katrantzou for Topshop. Since her first major collection three years ago I have adored Mary. So unafraid of colour and mind-bending prints, and consistently encouraging us to ditch our black garments and join her on a joyous acid trip through every hue imaginable. Colour, colour and yet more colour on colour with a hint of… Colour. That’s my kind of designer.

Casual Mary K: Jeans – Marks and Spencer | wedges – Marni, thrifted | octopus necklace – Rock ‘N Rose

My first impressions of the collection, based on the images circulating through the fashion press and blogland, were mixed. While the print designs were every bit as beautiful as I expected them to be, I questioned how wearable a vibrantly printed lampshade dress would be for anyone not 6ft tall with no leg muscles! In a dress like that I would certainly end up looking like only one thing: a lamp. However, the rest of the collection seemed eminently wearable for someone shorter and rounder like myself, so last Friday morning when I joined the online scrum for garments I opted for this sleeveless silk blouse. Endless rounds of page refresh and a few site crashes later, and I finally got one through the checkout. £80 is a lot more than I would normally spend on a blouse, but not only is it 100% silk, it was also made in the UK. And designed by Mary K. All solid reasons for profligacy!

Print mash-up Mary K: skirt – vintage | kimono jacket – Dorothy Perkins | shoes – Office

My blouse arrived on Saturday morning, and was then the star of several hours of dressing up (as you can see). The quality of the fabric is superb and garment is well put together and well finished. The print is as lovely in person as pictured. Initially the design looks like a bold floral print, but if you look more closely you realise that the flowers are made out of little jewels. I bought a size medium, although to be honest I could have got away with a small (I’m size 10-12 on top) as the cut is very loose. The slouchy, baggy nature of the design is part of the appeal for me though; it looks great tucked in or hanging out. This piece is the start of my summer beach wardrobe!

Did you buy anything from Mary K x Topshop? I’d love to hear your opinions!

This is the year seemingly when the high street collaborates with designers that I actually care about. Next month I will see you in the crush for Marni x H&M! Apologies in advance if I trample you. x

P.S. I have spent the last few days madly preparing for tomorrow’s MODO show, which is super exciting/scary! For more information about my debut (and possibly only) fashion collection, click here.

London Fashion Week: HEMYCA AW12

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A little fashion fairytale

Every now and again something magical happens that reminds me why London is the greatest fashion town in the world. During September Fashion Week last year I was wondering along Pall Mall on my way to the Wool Modern exhibition, when from out of nowhere a man came charging across the road and asked me if I wanted to go to a fashion show. I wasn’t actually wearing my pin that says “I’m a fashion blogger, ask me how”, but possibly the big blue hat I was wearing gave the game away. I found myself, white wine in hand, in a small attic-esque display space in La Gallaria watching “Fragments of Illusion”, the AW presentation of west London-based brand HEMYCA.  Which turned out to be a stunning collection that I was totally unable to photograph because I forgot my camera memory card. Fail!

This time I adopted a more formal approach, and got in touch with their press office for an invite. And I’m very glad I did, as this particular off-schedule collection, entitled “A World of Glass”, was something pretty special. The devil was in the details: art deco designs in laser cut leather overlaid onto soft brocade fabrics, double collars in contrasting weight fabrics and subtle metallic embellishments. Double peplums in stiff fabrics, straps and buckles, and feathered epaulettes added an almost military feel to some of the garments. According to designer Myra (half of the design duo at the heart of the brand) the designs are like armour, moulding to and protecting the body. I am not surprised that HEMYCA was named “the brightest and most directional fashion brand in the UK” at the 2011 Fashion Press Week Awards.

And no LFW post would be complete without a little blogger love! Despite having been at the same two events recently, I had never actually met the lovely Monica Beatrice of The Elgin Avenue until now. We had a good old chit chat, and got very excited about the top secret Tom Ford presentation that was going on in the next room! Incidentally, important fashion person spot of the day (and probably the year): Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani being admitted into the hallowed inner sanctum of Tom Ford. I wish I’d had my wits about me and taken a photo.

As usual there are more pictures of the event on Facebook. Enjoy! x

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