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Top Of The Class. Gwen Stefani in Stella McCartney.

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Some people just get it. It really is genuinely simple. Some people are just born knowing how to dress, and indeed how to be cool. Gwen Stefani is one of these people. She was born with it. Here she is in Stella McCartney more than earning this week’s Top Of The Class accolade.

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First Look. Scarlett Johansson covers the May edition of US Vogue.

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It was rather inevitable that the cast of The Avengers were going to land on some covers this month, and it would have been rather absurd if Scarlett Johansson didn’t grab herself second cover of US Vogue, and here she is. Oozing old Hollywood glamour like there’s no tomorrow – with a little help from Mark Ruffalo and Mario Testino. Oh, and a big cat.

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Buy Me. I’m Immense. The beautifully scented ‘La Pluie’ candle from Miller Harris.

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Miller Harris have managed to encapsulate one of my favourite smells in their La Pluie scented candle. The smell that lingers in the air before a huge rainstorm, heavy and inky, combined with the smell of tropical flowers desperate for the impending rain, it’s all there with La Pluie. It’s an amazing alternative to the overly floral scents that surround us in the summer months.

Give it a try. Light it, lie on your bed (on top of your new Mimosa sheets from Toast – see below) turn down the lights and pretend you’re off on some extraordinary tropical island about to get spectacularly drenched. It’s also available in a fragrance, so you can get that thunderous feeling all day long..

If you’re unfamiliar with the Miller Harris brand, give them a look – www.millerharris.com – I fully recommend Geranium Bourbon also, and to top it all off it comes in some very stylish packaging.

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If You Only Buy One Thing This Week… Buy yourself a little something for your humble abode.

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Make it something for the home.

Fashion is of course my first and foremost love, however interior design is a very close second. I reckon if I hadn’t been whipped up in the world of fashion (said with a mild tinge of sarcasm) I’d be working in the interiors field… or I’d be an archeologist, but that’s a whole other story. You don’t have to think about if something fits, does it make your cankles look huge, is it something you can realistically pull off at your age? It’s all inclusive. A beautiful throw is a beautiful, no matter how sizeable your calves are. In fact it’s even a great tool to hide your cankles whilst still maintaining a seductive allure.

Toast makes my heart go all a-flutter, it really does. I want to live inside the Toast catalogue – if you don’t already receive them make sure you sign up to do so on the site.  (That’s not a request.) These beautiful Mimosa print bed sheets are the perfect shade of blue. Try them mixed with plain white sheets, or a shot of the mustardy yellow tone – unexpected, but great.

Good old M&S, you can’t go wrong. Their homewares department has been particularly great of late, and with the addition of the Conran range it’s gained some serious design credentials. This Conran armchair may be pricey (Yes, even with 20% off all homewares this weekend it’s still £600) but it’s a true statement. Outdoors, indoors, conservatory, corner of a bedroom… who cares, it’s pretty spectacular.

Zara Home is to interiors what Zara itself is to fashion. A great, relatively inexpensive way of making things look rather luxe. The quality’s on the money and so is the styling. Their site – www.zarahome.com – is a great place to look for inspiration, but be warned, having beds that look as luxurious as they do on the site is going to dent your bank balance. This vivid blue and white picture frame looks like it’s been created using the washed up pieces of someone’s beloved boat, and I’m a little bit in love with that.

RE is a fantastic homewares store located in the North Eastern village of Corbridge, and if you ever get the opportunity to go, do so. It’s a treasure trove of amazing wares. Thankfully for those not quite so Northernly located there’s a newly opened concession in Liberty, as well as a fully stocked online store – www.re-foundobjects.com/store – so there’s plenty opportunity for a good old browse. This giant white wooden star has little use, but what a piece it is. Imagine it on a mantle piece propped up to one side… Ah. If only I had a) a fireplace to prop it on, and b) the £75 to make said purchase.

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First Look. Emily Blunt covers the May edition of British Elle.

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Emily Blunt is one of my favourite actresses working today. Not only if she talented, but she’s a pleasure to see interviewed, a pleasure to read about and certainly a pleasure to look at. She’s covered Elle once before, but this cover has to be one of my favourite covers the British Elle team have ever produced.

And if Emily weren’t enough to sway you into purchasing, there’s a £15 Whistles gift card in there too. Good times.

(Scan courtesy of TFS – Vogue28)

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Hmmmm, Question. When does a high-street homage become blatant thieving?

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When exactly does taking ‘inspiration from’ become just downright thieving?

We all know it happens, it’s simply the way most of the high street has come to work and for the most part it’s a great shame. There are some that really do seem to try not to take it in literal sense – see brands like COS or Whistles perhaps, both are very clearly inspired by brands such as Jil Sander and Céline but it’s done in an intelligent way at least. They reference the same things the designers did with their catwalk shows, they take the same ideas for shapes, cuts, colours, fabrics etc, but attempt to rearrange them. Essentially they try to give you the same look and trend but in their own way.

Primark however seems to just not care quite simply, they’re carrying on regardless. As I’ve said, we all know this sort of things happens but this morning I witnessed these two dresses taking pride of place in the brand’s flagship Oxford Street store. I’m not shocked exactly that Primark continue to do such blatant copies of designer’s work, but perhaps just surprised they continually manage to get away with it.

The first is very, very clearly a take on a dress from Prabal Gurung‘s Resort 2012 collection. No doubt the fact celebrities such as Lana Del Rey and Sarah Jessica Parker wore the dress spurred Primark on no end. A bit of shifting of the layout of the print and voila, done.



The second is perhaps the most literal of the two, Prada‘s chiffon pleated car print dress from the Spring/Summer 2012 collection has undergone the Primark treatment, almost entirely replicating the print.

And the funny thing is, they’re probably going to get away it. The even funnier thing about it is that I bet there will be thousands of women up and down the country who’ll be snapping the pieces up without ever thinking twice. It’s a shame. A real shame.

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Let’s Never Let This Happen Again. Pixie Lott in Dolce & Gabbana.

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Really Pixie Lott, like… really? Those Dolce & Gabbana fruit and vegetable print pieces were pretty dodgy as seperates, but when put together as an entire look and thrown on Pixie… My eyes bleed.

Still, I suppose we should just be thankful she’s actually remembered to wear a skirt this time.

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First Look. Dakota Fanning covers the April/May issue of Wonderland.

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Sometimes Wonderland‘s covers really hit the mark, and other times (like last issue’s Nicki Minaj cover) sort of arrive onto newsstands with a flop. The April/May issue however looks like it’s going to be one of the good ones – check out Dakota Fanning going all lady-like on us. I’m a bit of a fan it has to be said.

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If You Only Buy One Thing This Week… Zara’s wooden wedge.

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These wooden wedges from Zara should be it.

Spring is officially here. By here I mean London. It might not have actually arrived where you are just yet, but we all know it’s long off. This of course means it’s time to really ditch the winter clothing you’ve been holding onto. It’s also time to spend a little bit of time making your feet, and indeed your pins, acceptable for the world to view once again.

Let’s take it in baby steps though yeah? These Zara wooden wedges require a well kept heel and a bright nail polish. The perfect way to dip your toe into spring this week.

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If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Watch in awe at the work that goes into a Chanel jacket.

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It should be to explore the extraordinary work that goes into to making just one Chanel little black jacket.

I often find myself defending designers I have absolutely no affiliation to, and more importantly defending their pricing. “Who the hell would pay that for a jacket?!” “How can they justify that price?!” No matter how hard I explain about it being handmade and artfully constructed, generally it falls on deaf ears. This video shows every stage in the creation of one of the iconic Chanel tweed jacket, from Karl Lagerfeld‘s original sketch through the chain that’s sewn on by hand in the Paris atelier.

So watch, and marvel… and realise the many reasons why you probably can’t afford it.

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