Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Britannia rules the style waves

Not since the swinging '60's or the hedonistic years of '90's Britpop has the Union Jack been so widely used. Starting off with Union Jack's appearing on the roof's of the achingly cool Mini Coopers, the Union Jack soon popped up in fashion and conquered its way through interior design. Everywhere from John Lewis, Debenhams and Liberty, the Union Jack cushion is something of a must have item. Many versions have a strong vintage look working strong British Empire regalia with the red, white and blue.

With this century there has been a great rising against the West with the terror attacks of 9/11 and of the London bombings in 7/7. Perhaps it's this threat to our way of life that has once again stoked the fires of Britannia. Ringing in the spirit of the wartime and tweezing out our patriotic pride. In light of this, it is only natural to take influence from our golden eras. The main ones of the last 150 years surely are The British Empire, WWII, Swinging sixties and Britpop in the 1990's.

With a new sense of what Britain and to being British is, we can take a new pride not only in our country but also in our homes. After all, 'A British man's home is his castle'.

Tea and sympathy

There is nothing more British than a good cup of tea.
For centuries tea has been the cornerstone of British life. Once only the preserve of the very rich, tea soon became more accessible to all and is now deeply embedded in the psyche.

Within the last few years looking back has taken us forward in terms of fashion, film, music and popular culture. Recently there has been a big trend on thoroughly British style and memorabilia.
The art of tea has had a massive resurgence of popularity with the young and hip. The elegant and dainty tea party has made it more cool, more 'frock & roll' than rock & roll.

Tea sets are being reinvented with a new vision of style but still with a foot firmly in the best of British.
People are falling over themselves to buy or make cupcakes and even have a cupcake tower for a wedding cake. Prices for a ready made cupcake from £1.50 and can even reach £4 in some places.
The tea party also has risen in popularity albeit with a tongue firmly in the proverbial cheek.
It is quite common to now receive an invitation for a tea party of a weekend with a full spread laid out in the host's home complete with cupcakes. The ridged etiquette and form of the traditional tea party has been dusted away with more of a focus on fun than formality.
Marks & Spencer has a wonderful range named Posy Gingham which captures the spirit of the modern tea party. Gingham printed saucers are complimentary clashed with floral printed cups for a sweet mix and match English eccentric style. A milk jug, teapot and plates are also available along with floral gingham print tea towels giving you everything you need to throw your very own tea party.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Garden party dresses

A return to classic feminine dressing has recently become one of the key trends for this Spring/Summer. Seen on the catwalks of Oscar De La Renta, Chanel and Dior with a focus on prints, this look is perfect for giving your summer a bit of sass.

In a wide range of fabrics from classic cottons through to lightweight, floating chiffons, the garden party trend has a focus on smart fitting cuts and bold and outrageously feminine prints.

Taking inspiration for traditional British garden party style, garden party dresses can be nipped in at the waist and then bloom out into a wonderful full skirt, or flow down into a slim line pencil skirt for a more confident, mature look.

Cheerful, bright and floral should be your mantra this season when shopping this trend. The floral prints add a burst of colour to a likely rainy British summer, whilst detailed necklines such as the timeless bateau give a smart line and a sleek silhouette to your neck making you as elegant as a swan on a lake. The prints can be large and loud or small but throughout the dress.
To modernise the look you can add edgy accessories such as spike heels and chunky necklaces or stay classic with flats and subtle jewellery.

Dress by Donna Ricco