January Reads

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This is the third Jane Austen book that I've read and by far my favourite. I loved the overall plot and the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy! 

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Neither of The Raven Cycle sequels have been quite as good as The Raven Boys but I still enjoy them. Blue Lily, Lily Blue follows the group as they continue to try and wake Glendower. Although I don't think the plot is as good as the first book, there's something about the characters that makes this so loveable and enjoyable. Now I just need to wait until April for the last instalment...

The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg
I'm so glad I picked this book up. I've followed the DVF runway shows but I never knew much about Diane. The Woman I Wanted To Be begins by telling the reader about Diane's early life, and the life of her mother who was a concentration camp survivor from WWII. Straight away I knew this books would be incredibly inspiring. This is definitely one of my favourite biographies that I've read!

Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht
This was my first non-fiction book of the year and it did not disappoint. I hadn't heard of Aliza Licht beforehand but now she's one of my role models! Leave Your Mark is all about landing your dream job and killing it, with a little help from social media. Although this book is full of helpful tips and tricks that Aliza has learned along the way, she also includes her own experiences and shows us how she got to where she is now. As someone who wants to work in the fashion industry, I found this book really helpful and motivational - definitely an all-time favourite.

Vogue On: Alexander McQueen by Vogue Magazine/Chloe Fox
I love the Vogue On series and the Alexander McQueen edition was just as good as the others I have read. These books are really quite short, with half of it being full of beautiful pictures, but they still give a great insight into the designer and their history. Although I'm a fan of Alexander McQueen's work, I didn't know a lot about him as an individual and I think this really showed what inspired him and why he got into fashion.

Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I quickly made my way through the Heroes of Olympus series, which is the follow up to Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Heroes of Olympus follows a new set of demi-gods, along with Percy and Annabeth as they complete the great prophecy and defeat the Earth Godess, Gaia. Although I didn't enjoy this series as much as PJO, I did love the new characters - particularly Leo - and reading more about Nico!

I managed to read 10 books out of my 65 book reading challenge this month! What did you read in January?

Paris Haute Couture Week SS16 Day 1 & 2 / Atelier Versace, Schiaparelli, Dior & Giambattista Valli

Donatella Versace produced an up-beat and energetic show to kick-off haute couture week on Sunday evening with the models, including Joan Smalls and Rosie Huntington-Whitely, showing off sporting looks. Calling it 'athletic couture', Donatella created the perfect balance between sporty and sophisticated with bright, white suits with electric neon accents. In addition to neon, other sporting details included roping and hi-vis lacing. Although the outfits looked as if they'd been easily thrown together, it was one of Versace's most complex collections with some dress panels taking up to a month to complete.

Elsa Schiaparelli once said 'Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy of life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.' It's clear that this is where Bertrand Guyon's inspiration for the new haute couture collection comes from. 

With a backdrop of china plates, gowns featured unique patterns and designs consisting of citrus fruits, three-course meals, root vegetables and porcelain cups. Amongst these unique pieces, there was also simpler and modern garments, such as the chic black gown.

With stylish stars such as Kate Bosworth, Carla Bruni and Olivia Palermo gracing the front row, the Schiaparelli show was definitely worth a second look.

In Dior's first show since Creative Director Raf Simons left the label, it was the very capable in-house team that had responsibility for what came down the catwalk. The collection was focused on the modern woman, and how she wears garments in a new and interesting way. The overall feel was contemporary and relaxed, with off the shoulder dresses, swishy skirts and oversized jackets. 

However, not even the beautiful collection to take away from Dior's issues. With the audience gossiping over which talent will take lead of the couture house, and names such as Sarah Burton being mentioned, an announcement is expected soon.

Although a relatively newcomer to Haute Couture Week, with the first collection in July 2011, Giambattista Valli is always one to watch. Valli said he was inspired by the gardens of Paris, which is clear when looking at the collection - embroidered flowers with plenty of sequins or the alternative of delicate gathered chiffon working it's way up the dresses.

Reminding the audience of the bright pink gown that Rihanna wore to the Grammy's, the collection also showcased Valli's signature look - beautiful (and big!) tulle gowns.

With the Oscars just around the corner, it won't be a surprise to see the stars walking down the red carpet in a Giambattista Valli gown.

SS16 Fashion Campaigns

A few weeks ago, the SS16 campaigns from the biggest fashion houses began to trickle out and I thought it was finally time for me to have a good look at them.
Louis Vuitton
This is one of my favourite campaigns. Starring Jaden Smith, this campaign made a big impact with it being praised by Willow Smith for breaking gender stereotypes.  The campaign features Jaden and three female models, all sporting the lazer-cut looks and platform sandals from the SS16 runway show. Not only have LV appointed Jaden at the face of there womenswear campaign, they've also a Final Fantasy character to model the new collection. I can't wait to see what they do next!
The Versace campaign features Gigi Hadid, Natasha Poly and Raquel Zimmerman, in an urban jungle. Each woman represents a separate identity and self-belief, but what they have in common is that each individual is a Versace woman.
Saint Laurent
Another of my SS16 favourites. The Saint Lauren campaign features models in grunge inspired looks with plenty of sequins, fur and metallics. The looks are given a feminine touch with the models wearing tiaras.
For the Balmain campaign, Olivier Rousteing managed to reunite Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer. With three iconic supermodels and the campaign images in polaroid form, it was a true throwback to the 90s paired with Balmain's typical style.
Dolce and Gabbana
I always love the D&G campaigns and SS16 is no exception. Following the traditional family feel, this campaign features a family gathering with plenty of selfie taking - a nice throwback to their SS16 runway show. In even more exciting news, D&G have also debuted a line of haute hijabs and abayas for 'the modest Muslim woman'.

The SS16 campaigns showcase the increasing diversity in the fashion industry and the awareness of issues beyond fashion. I can't wait to see the AW16 campaigns and I hope they continue to promote diversity in the industry.

What's your favourite SS16 campaign?

Ways To Wear: The Aviator Jacket

The aviator jacket has made quite the resurgence in recent months and today I'm going to show you two different ways to wear this latest trend.

Jacket // Jumper // Jeans // Bag // Hat // Trainers

This first look is a more casual look - perfect for every day wear. This is the type of outfit that I'd definitely wear to university. Super cosy for dark winter mornings and comfortable enough to sit through a day of lectures before running for the train home!

Jacket // Top // Skirt // Boots // Bag // Hat

The second outfit is still quite casual but is definitely a more sophisticated look. I'd wear an outfit like this on the weekend, to go out for lunch or dinner! 

How do you wear your aviator jacket? Which look do you prefer?

January Street Style Inspiration

I used to post quite a lot of street style inspiration so I thought it was time I brought it back in a new way! I'm constantly looking at street style for some fashion inspiration - whether it's on Pinterest or Tumblr. This month I'm really feeling oversized coats and bike/aviator jackets! All of these looks are styles I would wear - stylish but perfect for everyday wear!

For more street style inspiration check out my Pinterest board, my Tumblr blog or check back next month for the February instalment.

A To Do List For My Week Off

Last week I finished my exams and other coursework and now I finally have a week off before starting my next semester at university. With the exception of a few days, I've been pretty much doing university work constantly from late September so I'm excited to finally have time off and rest! Here's a few things I want to do on my week off:

  • Read Pride and Prejudice
  • Catch up with some TV shows
  • Complete Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • Organise my university notes
  • Clear out and tidy my desk
  • Clean my room and change my bed cover
  • Add some art work to my walls/desk area
  • Schedule blog posts

How do you spend your days off?

2016 Anticipated Reads

There's nothing worse than starting a new book series only to discover that you have to wait months until the next or last instalment. I got back into reading last year, which means I know have a small list of books that I'm waiting to be released so I can either continue or finish some of my favourite series. Here are my 2016 anticipated releases:

  • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins
  • The Land of Stories #5 by Chris Colfer
  • Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J Maas
  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

Out of these 7 books I'm most excited for the first book in the Trials of Apollo series to be released. I only read Rick Riordan's first series, Percy Jackson and The Olympians, last year but he's fast become one of my favourite authors so I can't wait to get my hands on this! I'm also waiting for Winds of Winter but who knows when that will be released...

What books are you most excited for in 2016?

My Favourite Looks From The Golden Globes

Amber Heard in Gucci // Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton // Zendaya in Marchesa // Lily James in Marchesa
Melissa Benoist in Monique Lhuillier // Jenna Dewan Tatum in Zuhair Murad // Rosie Huntington-Whitely in Custom Atelier Versace // Olivia Palermo in Delpozo

It's finally award season! Although the night wasn't without controversy (what award show is?), I thought I'd pick out my favourite looks from the night.

I fear I'm becoming predictable when picking my favourite looks - there's always a few Marchesa and Zuhair Murad gowns! That being said, Jenna Dewan Tatum was definitely my best dressed. Although I'm not a fan of navy, it just suited her perfectly. The dark colour paired with the silver detailing was just beautiful. 

If the rest of the season is anything like the Golden Globes then we're in for plenty more beautiful dresses.

Who was your best dressed?

Kate Spade Card Holder

I'm a big fan of Kate Spade and for Christmas I asked for my first piece from the brand - the Cedar Street Melanie card holder. I travel to and from uni pretty much every weekday so I know I'll get good use out of this! Also, my Cath Kidston one has been pretty well-loved and really needed replacing...

The Cedar Street Melanie is made from cross hatched leather which is great because if it starts to get a bit worn it won't be very noticeable. It also has two compartments which will hold my travel card and my student ID for university.

I really love this little card holder. I love Kate Spade and can't wait to invest in more pieces from the brand!

My 2016 Books Goals

After getting back into reading last year I decided to set myself a few book related goals for 2016. The main goal is to read 65 books by the end of 2016 - I read 50 from May-December in 2015 so I'm hoping I can exceed that! My other goals are centred around new series that I want to start reading and some new authors.

  1. Read the remaining Jane Austen novels (Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
  2. Read 3 classics other than Jane Austen novels.
  3. Read at least two more Outlander novels (The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes).
  4. Start reading Agatha Christie books.
  5. Start reading the Sherlock Holmes series.
  6. Start at least 4 new series and finish them (The Selection, The Winner's Trilogy, The Grisha Trilogy and The Lunar Chronicles). 
  7. Read the remaining Rick Riordan series (Heroes of Olymps, The Kane Chronicles).
  8. Re-read the Harry Potter series again.
  9. Read 65 books.

Do you have any book goals for 2016? Follow me on Goodreads and keep up with my progress here

A Boxing Day Sales Haul

Blazer // Top // Boots

I'm not really a huge fan of the Boxing Day sales. I find them quite overwhelming and I usually can't get anything I want, but this year I managed to pick up a few pieces that I've had my eye on for a few months.

My first stop of any sales is always Topshop. I bought this grey blazer which I've been wanting since September (£25 down from £46). Although this blazer is just a bit too light to be wearing right now, it will be perfect for when the weather starts to get a bit warmer.

I then found the flower camouflage print top. I had always put off purchasing this due to the price tag (£36) but when I saw it was just £18 in the sale I couldn't resist! I think this will look good paired with black Joni jeans and black heeled boots.

The last item I bought in Topshop was the rose gold necklace which was only £2.50. I love delicate jewellery so I always try to pick up a few pieces in Topshop when their sale starts.

Finally, I popped into M&S and found that these snakeprint boots that I've wanted for months were half price (£25 down from £50). These were a complete impulse buy but I really love them and they'll add something different to my wardrobe.

What do you think of my Boxing Day sale buys?
© Lucy Fiona

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