Category: High Street

Bright White Light x

There was this article I read last week that on initial skimming was talking my artisanal language – it’s message was make sure it’s the stuff you hold and use every day are your investment pieces because this is where quality and appreciation will sing.  Except that’s when I had a lightbulb moment because it’s so not true – in fact, the real truth is the very opposite: We need the stuff we use every day to be simple and replaceable because their constant use means the chances of them being broken wracks up and who wants to shed tears on a daily basis? I know we have a white mismatched dinner service that I’m sure started off as a two bogoffs from Tesco. It’s been added to over the years, but it’s core has remained the same: mismatched but matched simplicity with a lack of drama when a piece inevitably breaks.

(From Argos £7.99 for 12 piece set)

I’ve been noticing this boomerang effect a lot lately, where you think one thing leads to a certain consequence when in fact, the opposite happens: Take the row over Facebook…the premise is we’re all connected. But in truth is it segregation with the tribes who share our views leading to intolerance, division and stress?  It’s food for thought.

(From Argos £58 for a 18 piece set)(From Habitat reduced from £60 to £30 for a 12 piece set)

Maybe we need to be more careful where real value lies, but what I do know is taking a walk on the cheap side of the tracks means there’s so much more left in the kitty for the real stars to shine: The ones that get used every day but have no danger of being dropped..

 

Laters, Kate x

High Times x

January to easily represents the bleak recognition of the aftermath: The twinkly lights are gone, the weather is foul and last months credit card bills are circling like starving carrion.

But the first signs of spring are out there – the first glimpse of snowdrops, the first hint of cotton clothing appearing on the high street.

H&M have some impressive staples to offer – on trend blouses, softly hanging silk shirts, high waisted tie trousers and easy wear long sleeved dresses…

(Pics from Pinterest)

It’s temptation – but it’s sensible temptation.

Laters, Kate x

Beans on Toast x

Just the name Toast takes on a whole new meaning when the temperatures start to drop and the smell of fallen leaves mixed with wood smoke permeates the air.

Their clothes capture that louche, appreciation of nature vibe: Loose cuts, soft textures, muddy palette.

If that’s not enough, not only do they do the best classic grey long cashmere cardigan.

(All pics Toast)

But each one of their eleven shops has a shelf filled with books from customers and staff. Inside each books are hand written notes, explaining how the book has enriched the sharer. Visit a shop to share your own book and take one in return. Genius.

 

Laters, Kate x

Raise it up x

All I want for Autumn-slash-winter is a pair of Docs.

The reasons are multiple…

– Aesthetically pleasing

– A true classic

– One size fits all i.e. No different for either men or women.

Which is a very satisfying comment on life.

(All pics Pinterest)

Because these boots were made for walking.

Laters, Kate x

Trans-seasonal x

So here’s the thing – weather in London, in September – particularly this year – is unpredictable.  If the sun does make an appearance there’s the flash of late summer burn, but just as easily the sun can disappear in an instant to be replaced by a cold wind and threatening clouds.  What to do? One solution are the 2-in-one coats from Arket.  Surprisingly simply yet remarkably flexible they’re an unfussy solution to an autumn – and potentially winter – dilemma.

The clever puffa-slash-underjacket comes in a choice of long sleeves…

(All pictures Arket)

Or vest.

 

I will be trying both the mens and the womens before making a decision.

Laters, Kate x

Earth. Food. Love.

Earth. Food. Love is the living proof that stereotypes get it wrong.

Set up by former footballer, Richard Eckersley and his wife, Nicola  Earth.Food.Love is a revolutionary zero waste supermarket in Totnes, Devon, where all packaging is banned.

Customers are expected to bring their own pots, jars, bags to carry their produce home.

Amongst the razor blades and bamboo toothbrushes with replaceable bristles, there’s even a grind your own nut butter machine.

‘We want to live in a world where consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth.  We believe returning to these simple ways will benefit not only our health, but the planet too.’

 

Fingers crossed this is the start of a new trend, coming soon to a High Street near you..

Laters, Kate x

Arket x

Arket is the new concept child of H&M and translates to ‘a sheet of paper’.

One can only think this relates to blank, ie a change of direction.

It will cater for men, women, children and homewares, but there will be a conscious focus away from High Street principals of pile em high, sell em cheap, to sustainability, durability and quality, but with an eye on affordability.

It says it’s offering ‘Staples in varying weights’ – a concept to embrace.

And opens in the UK on 25 August.

One for the diary.

Laters, Kate x

Labour And Wait x

God the eighties were fun…the smoking, the staying up partying all night then going into work then fishbowls of Chardonnay at 5. No gym, no clean food, just living life to the full and never worrying about the consequences. People behaved badly but oh how we  laugh, we laughed every single day. Until recently I thought rather than marking an era this was just a rite of youthful passage.  Now I’m not so sure.  There’s a modern contagion that’s spreading through all walks of life to constantly do as much as possible..and do it fast. Life is serious, focused and controlled, it’s either join the ranks or be left behind. Walk into an office and there’s no frantically ringing phones  or waft of cigarette smoke, it’s all green algae juices and mindfulness.  Which is maybe why the pull of any type of nostalgia is still strong for me and why shops such as Labour and Wait will always float my traditional wooden sailing boat.

Labour and Wait sell the sort of things you’ve always needed but didn’t know where to find, unless it was an Enid Blyton book or an Agatha Christie mystery.

I’m slowly replacing all my pound shop plastic for their built-to-last-wholesome-simplicity.

This is sourcing the best in life.  But learning not to take it too seriously.

Laters, Kate x

Flashback x

They say the true cycle of fashion is thirty years.  It seems a lot quicker than that to me…but maybe that’s because time is slipping through my fingers at an ever increasing rate.  I can certainly remember this micro-trends first outing back in the eighties.  The key then was vintage, naturally well-worn ripped mens’ 501s with classic black fishnets and either DMs or pointed flats.

(As someone who knows: The larger meshes and little toes never mix.  Soz).

Laters, Kate x

Blasted x

AW17 Celine catwalk hit the runway this week, rich with Philo’s finger on the zeitgeist: Oversized tailoring, hints of the eighties and mannish overcoats.

Not so far away in terms of style, but millions of miles when compared in price, high street store Mango has also seized on these ghosts from the past…..and run with them.

And I’m sprinting after them..

Laters, Kate x