boden colourblock
One thing I love about vintage-inspired pieces as that they usually find a way to work in both Winter and Summer – you know, “transitional dressing”. This dress, in particular, felt equal parts ‘Mad Men’ and colourblocking-friendly when I spotted it hidden in Boden’s women’s clothing section (probably something to do with their huge promo of colourblocking knitwear). By happenstance, the dress arrived with a big dose of sunshine and another package featuring this unbelievable Shabana Khan necklace. Pink lip, neon shoes…colourblock sorted.

What I Wore:
Wardour dress, Boden. Nicole necklace, Shabana Khan. Neon green heels, Nelly.

boden colourblock
boden colourblock

bellas hess catalog
Though I imagine the days of mail-order catalogs are well and truly over, the National Bellas Hess Catalog was at the top of its game in the 50s and 60s. Mailing our over 25 million catalogs a year with a typical return of over 250 million dollars, they were a sales force to be reckoned with. These scans from one of their 1955 catalogs might explain why: dresses for only $2.99? I’d take forty.

God, I can’t wait for the return of Mad Men…

bellas hess catalog
bellas hess catalog
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m and s ss13
The Great British High Street is ready to deliver for Spring/Summer 2013, mon cheres. Last week, I made a pit stop at the SS13 press day for M&S and was very pleasantly surprised. With micro collections dubbed under a range of monikers from ‘Doll’s House’ (which looks, endearingly, like Mad Men mixed with a sweet shop) to ‘Print Fusion’ to ‘Urban Utility’, the high street giant have compiled an extensively trend-led compilation of affordable pieces.

Standout pieces include a pair of must-have nude plexi heels (see below) as well as a bevy of vintage-inspired lingerie paired with modern garment technology, including Rosie Huntington’s super successful lingerie collaboration. Lust.

ms press day ss13
m and s ss13
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mad men
If you have ever met me, it is likely that you saw this post coming.

For those of you fortunate enough to not have to deal with my daily caffeine crashes, impressively high-pitched giggles, and incessant need to think of a song that matches every moment of my life, let me let you into a Lela fact: I am obsessed with Mad Men.

Leading up to Season Five‘s big premiere (tonight! tonight!), I have been turning into something of a Manic Pixie whenever someone mentions The Sixties, Jon Hamm, advertising…even gin. Like a one-woman Mad Men street team, I have even become that woman. The one that throws her hands to her mouth in shock – mid Mad Man love gush – upon hearing the words “I’ve never watched it?”. I’ve expected more people to punch me.

It all started when The Manfriend and I were buying used DVDs (yes, that’s something I do). “Invest in Season One for a few pounds -” I thought, “if it ends up being awful at least it has Sixties fashion“. Roughly three days and an entire season later, The Manfriend and I were ready for our next fix.

This show is like no other. Sure, you can get your period style fix from Downton Abbey – you can even get your chauvinistic sexual tension from True Blood…but you can’t get Mad Men. The closest example I can offer for those who haven’t seen Mad Men (START NOW), is The Wire. Similar to the Baltimore-focused humanistic empathy for citizens who have been let down by governments and institutions, Mad Men is about an increasingly intimate look at life. At the pursuit of happiness. At human behaviour without dramatic agenda or analyzed impulses. The characters exist in a collision of problems, political upheaval, social inequalities, and offer no explanation for their actions. No narrative. Each episode is a stream of question marks, as are our own lives.

At the core of the series we follow Don Draper and Peggy Olson, the quasi-protagonists. By ‘rights’, neither of them should be working as a creative in an ad agency; Don is bumpkin-bred and living under a completely fictionalized identity, while Peggy is not college educated and a working class (pause for effect) woman. Two individuals that, by opportunity and circumstance, have been given the chance to demonstrate their natural greatness. All while their lives get entangled in the world’s unavoidable ebb and flow.

As a technically-perfect television show, Mad Men hits every mark. It is a visual and intellectual treat, with a humour and heart that extends far beyond my used DVD expectations.

Three cheers for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Alexis Mabille Runway PFW
There has been such a profusion of white-based collections over Spring/Summer 2011‘s four fashion weeks that it has become offensive. As part of the trend, Alexis Mabille managed to get off the hook. Though completely neutral, his full skirts and signature bows had a refined dexterity. This is the kind of stuff women reach for when they want something a little bit fabulous in their day. View Post