London: A Canvas Shopping Guide To Marylebone and Mayfair

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My final morning in London this summer I got up early, grabbed a takeaway down the street, and had my nose pressed against to the door of Selfridges waiting for them to open. Why? I could have had an easy morning enjoying the last bit of good tea, but I was on a quest to find new inspiration. Yes--we have wonderful brands here in the states, but honestly, if you are shopping the market as often as Megan and I am, you'll quickly realize the lack of diversity.

Below is a listing of two main shopping areas in London that I would recommend experiencing and a few stand out brands not to be missed. There is so much to see in each of these neighborhoods that I could have written a blog on each store--however, we'll keep it light and share my highlights for today.

Stay Stylish,

Kimberly

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A postcard from the London Underground


Mayfair (Regent Street, Savile Row, and Oxford Street)--Shopping for the History Buffs

I was determined not to follow existing fashion but to create new ones.
— Arthur Lasenby Liberty

This landmark store has gotten ever the more popular in the US thanks to some good marketing and partnerships with J.Crew and even Target. I was intrigued to check it out and it ended up being one of my favorite London stops of the trip. Liberty Of London is a brand that started in 1875 and is known for its beautiful floral printed fabrics. Inside the Tudor style store, however, is a merchant's dream where you will find floors of departments ranging from cosmetics to homewares. It would be easy to get lost here for a day exploring new brands but if you are tight on time head to the top of the store to see the famous fabrics. If you are crafty, their collection of vintage patterns and notions are wonderful.

 
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Savile Row

Not far from Liberty of London, Savile Row parallels Regent street. I happened upon this street after a long trek from the Theater district and enjoyed passing famous menswear brands known for their craftsmanship and beautiful fabrics. If you are in the market for something bespoke start here.

 

 


Marylebone--Shopping for the Modern Londoner

This was the area of town I stayed in and for this trip it was the perfect spot to be in the heart of London without experiencing the rush of a large city. Situated not far from Hyde Park there is plenty to see, savor, and shop. I didn't do much personal shopping, but I did do a lot of scouting for the blog. 

Selfridges

I was excited to see what the second largest store in London had to sell and share that with all of you. Sorry Harrods, you lost out on this trip... Mr. Selfridge won the coin toss. Thankfully a local friend and PBS steered me in the right direction.

The very best "Amercian" way I can describe this store is to think of it as an upscale Nordstrom. The store itself, opened in 1908, is like stepping back in time and experiencing retail on a grand scale. Mr. Selfridge a Chicago native, moved his family to London at the turn of the century to start an empire and revolutionize how we do retail--much of which remains today. Here is a quick link so some fun facts about the store if you visit.

Many for the brands carried at Selfridges are sold in the US, but below are a few British designers that are worth watching.

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“Print can be as definitive as a cut or a drape and allows a woman to filter beauty found in design, in a subversive way. All my prints are constructed through digital technology... It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility; I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and both vice versa.”
— Mary Katrantzou

There is so much energy in Mary Katrantzou's fresh designs that they immediately caught my eye. A native of Greece, this London based designer is one to watch! There is a soft feminitiy to her bold and creative designs. Maybe it's our Rhode Island connection (she did a stint at RISD), but her print designs are a collector item as her career continues to gain momentum. She has done numerous collaborations in the UK and frequently partners with addias for street wear.

 
The Power Of Femininity: We believe that being strong and self-determined, doesn’t mean you have to park your femininity at the door—it’s all about having the confidence to express yourself.
— Malene Birger
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Okay--this selection is a CHEAT--but when it comes to fashion sometimes you have to bend the rules. I was hoping to only include London based designers but, I wouldn't want to you to miss out on a wonderful brand! I love the force de resistance of this powerhouse Danish brand. The collections are cohesive, classic, with just the right bit of edge. If Rag and Bone hopped across the pond they may end up there.

 
Bold, confident, refined. Modern futurism balanced with timeless minimalism.
— Solace London

My final pick is one brand that you can occasionally source here in the states. Solace London"s modern architectural designs and bold use of color make them an easy brand to translate to California dressing. If you are curious to try a design, Rent the Runway currently has a few of their gowns available.

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Can You Wear Florals In Fall? We set out to make the case...

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Florals For Fall--What's Old is New (again)

Jan davidsz. de heem, Flowers in a Vase

Jan davidsz. de heem, Flowers in a Vase

This year, fall florals are returning in rich, dark colors. Maybe it was my trip to Holland this summer, but these prints remind me of classic still life's from Baroque Dutch masters.

This blouse from Club Monaco has Jan davidsz. de heem's hand all over it (see the image to the right for reference). So what makes a floral print fall appropriate? It's all about the color and grounded coordinates. Keep your prints seasonally relevant with jewel tones (red, blue, green) and dark backgrounds. 

Fall 2017 Color Theory

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We've blogged in the past about the top Pantone shades of the season. It's always helpful to know what designers are focusing on, what should be invested in, and what key colors will be available in the market.

This year the palette is a unique mix of traditional fall shades, pastels, and a fiery red. Knowing that florals would be "in" for fall and the trending fall colors worked well in my favor. I knew that when I found this blouse in the spring/summer markdowns it would be something I could wear into winter.

Stylist Tip: Having a basic sense of what people will be wearing next season makes you a more powerful sale shopper.

Mixing Mediums and Textures

Megan and I were looking for fun ways to talk about this year's fall trends, so we decided to ad lib a bit and infuse some energy into the looks. The blouse was the inspiration for this shoot (fit note: it runs big, I am wearing an extra small) and from there I added a heavy weight fringed textured skirt to keep the look less serious. This skirt, also from Club Monaco, is perfect for keeping on hand for the holidays and a worthy investment. It can easily be worn with a simple silk blouse and blazer or dressed down with an oversized sweater and booties.

Get Out of Your Style Comfort Zone

To balance to bold print of the blouse, I decided against my usual sleek shoe and added a cheeky printed sandal by Steve Madden. The price point was low enough to tempt me to play on the wild side and buy into with the Gucci inspired appliqué trend. Leopard is a great choice for fall and the contrast with the floral works well. I'll admit they are a little kitschy, but sometimes it's important to get outside of your box for a bit.

Stay Stylish,

K&M

 

Outfit Details: Club Monaco Fredrikah Fringe Sweater Skirt $129 (on sale), Dolice Silk Blouse $69 (on sale) and Steve Madden Leopard Sandals ($39.97)

Outfit Details: Club Monaco Fredrikah Fringe Sweater Skirt $129 (on sale), Dolice Silk Blouse $69 (on sale) and Steve Madden Leopard Sandals ($39.97)

Photos by Kelsey Johnson

Posted on October 12, 2017 and filed under Style Stories, Women.
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How To Elevate Your Basics For Fall

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Today, Devon is taking over the blog to share how to easily elevate your everyday basics for fall.

Stay Stylish,
M, K & D


As much as I love fashion, there are days when I just want to wear my favorite t-shirt and jeans. If I’m in one of these moods but still have places to go and people to see, I’ll throw on an unexpected jacket.

Make a Statement

Printed and colorful outerwear will be everywhere this fall. Give your simple staples a wardrobe refresh with something fun and unexpected. A statement coat can make even the laziest of fashionistas look effortlessly cool.

Experiment With a Detailed Jacket

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I love this boho jacket's fringe detail and texture. Can you believe I got this at Target? (and it comes in plus sizes too!) This unique piece works great as a light jacket or unexpected blazer. Experiment with your coat-- they are more versatile than you’d think!

Choose Classic Accessories

Accessories are always a fun way to amp up a basic ensemble, but sometimes less can be more. Balance your bold outerwear with timeless accessories. A simple heel, watch or handbag let the real statement piece shine. 

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Posted on October 10, 2017 and filed under Stylish Living, Women.
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