As those of you from the North East will already be well aware, Newcastle Fashion Week is back with all kinds of fun-filled events. Tonight I was lucky enough to be invited along to Fenwick for a blogger event at Boutique. For those of you who aren't familiar with Fenwick, Boutique is a section that's all about fast fashion. They offer high fashion and cutting edge trends without a hefty price tag, allowing you to constantly adapt your look without causing a serious dent in your bank balance. Whether you're looking for a Celine inspired handbag (see above - not bad for only £35!), or neon heels..
As those of you who know me, or read my blog frequently will have learned, I'm not really one for keeping up with trends. I go for pretty classic shapes, and I know what styles suit me and what doesn't work so well. I'm more of a late fifties/early sixties throwback; from the shapes to hem lengths, to the blunt fringe worn over heavy black eyeliner and pale lips. I'm much more comfortable in a shift mini dress or breton top, cigarette pants and ballet pumps, than a pair of Litas with spikes long enough to give someone tetanus. Call me old fashioned if you like.
What I really like about Boutique though is that they stock a range of on-trend and classic pieces, including lines like French Connection (always a favourite!) and Vero Moda,(which I always find to be really good for basics - and I had my eye on a great striped jumper but really how many does a girl need?) This evening, I was invited along with some fellow North East bloggers to have a rummage around Boutique and create an outfit to be photographed as part of Newcastle Fashion Week. Very kindly the folks at Fenwick gave us £50 to put towards purchasing our outfit so of course no one could wait to start shopping!
After much rummaging around, and a lot of gossiping with Justine, Anna and Fen, I finally headed to the changing room with armfuls of clothes.. from maroon skinny jeans, leather jackets and breton tops, to slinky boatneck tunics and striped swing dresses. A lot of the pieces I chose were the kind of garments I'd buy ordinarily. I didn't really see the point in creating a look that I wouldn't actually wear! Having found a couple of French Connection pieces, including this navy and cream county cotton striped dress and Athena biker jacket, I wanted to try and find some eye-catching accessories and shoes! As I'd wandered in, I'd noticed a pair of neon heels (nice neon though, not that weird day-glow neon that makes you look radioactive in photos) in an orangey red colour that worked really well with the navy of the dress.. so all I needed was to stumble on the perfect bag! Boutique at Fenwick is the kind of place that's perfect to go if you're looking for a statement bag but don't want to blow too much on something that may go out of season quickly, or if you're on the hunt for a piece inspired by catwalk favourites. Like most of the female population, I've been lusting after Celine Smile bags for too long, but the price point sets the bags very firmly out of my budget for the foreseeable future. So of course, I couldn't resist selecting a Celine-inspired bag to complement my outfit.
Although it was playing it safe, opting for styles I knew would suit me, I thought adding the bright accessories gave what would be a pretty basic leather jacket and dress, a little more of an edge. I really love the shape of this dress though - it's the perfect light knit that you can wear during the summer or winter. And because it's such a simple shape, it's really easy to dress up with heels but would equally as good when thrown on with a pair of white plimsolls. I decided to snap it up tonight after convincing myself that it would also be a great dress for work! Since Precept isn't exactly a corporate workplace, I would feel a bit daft wearing anything too formal, so I like to try and get a balance of looking nicely presented for clients without straying into the polyester-laden realms of business dress. This little striped number offers a great balance of looking quite smart without being too dressy. As for the leather jacket, I was really tempted to splash out and get that too when I first spotted it. Until I read the label and realised it was polyurethane... there's something about synthetic leather that I really can't get away with - I like to keep clothes for a long time and while PU is cheaper, it doesn't have the same lasting quality as real leather. Plus I love the way leather ages and gains more character; PU just starts to peel and look a bit grotty. So the hunt for the perfect leather jacket continues.. Still I left Boutique at Fenwick tonight with a big smile on my face, a new dress and a pretty awesome goody bag (more of that later though.. I'm a bit too tired to go into the details.) Huge thanks to Anna, Matt and Sophie from Fenwick's Marketing Department, and of course the lovely Justine for inviting me along!