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April 11th 2014
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SPRING TIME FLORALS WITH LOBSTER & SWAN

Jeska from Lobster & Swan shows us her Laura Ashley spring garden setting…

Happy Friday to you, the weekend is almost here and I have been enjoying our home and garden under rays of glorious sunshine these past few days. Living minutes from a cliff edge, all the blossom and blooms are slightly behind around here, so with a little help from Laura Ashley and some favourite items from their spring collection – I have managed to fill my rooms with flowers and make a shaded reading spot under our pretty apple tree.

 

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Geranuim Pale Cranberry Red Linen Fabric / Peony String Lights / Straw Floral Trim Clutch Bag 

 

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Geraniums are flowers that always make me smile, don’t you just love their joyful bright neon colours? When I saw this new fabric design I knew it could add a fresh feel to our outdoor seating, so I whipped together a cover for the back and a cushion for the seat – stuffed with feather pads, it makes the metal bench a much comfier place to sit and under the shade of our lovely apple tree, I think it’s my new favourite place to read.

 

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Geranuim Pale Cranberry Red Linen Fabric / Straw Floral Trim Clutch Bag 

 

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Peony String Lights

 

As I said we are still waiting for the explosion of pink and white blossom to arrive, so I added a splash of pink ruffled prettiness up in the branches with these battery powered Peony String Lights, they add a delicate rosy twinkle to the back yard when the sun starts to fade on a clear evening.

 

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Rose Print Canvas Trainers 

 

Almost too pretty to wear, aren’t these floral canvas shoes just the sweetest things for your feet? I teamed them with my most threadbare and beloved pair of boyfriend jeans and a simple white t-shirt for daytime exploring, but they would look equally great with a crisp white dress or flowery skirt for people who aren’t afraid to mix patterns!

 

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Ditsy Rose Print Shirred Top Dress

 

This pretty ditsy rose print has been used to make a capsule collection of items for the new season (check out the swimming costume!) and I fell for the super cute cotton summer dress with bandeau top and a frilled hem, pretty and easy to throw on over those jeans I’m always wearing and under a slouchy cardigan – plus it rolls up really small to fit in your bag for an impromptu beach cover up. I always seem to be wearing the wrong thing on hot days, so this will be going everywhere with me this summer.

 

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Straw Floral Trim Clutch Bag 

 

Lastly, for days when you want just a hint of floral – this matching ditsy print and straw clutch bag has the same pretty pattern as an accent on its fabulous bow and I love the little tag that comes on it explaining that it is a vintage print from the Laura Ashley Archives.

 

Browse Jeska’s top spring picks…

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Ditsy Rose Print Shirred Top Dress / Peony String Lights / Straw Floral Trim Clutch Bag / Rose Print Canvas Trainers / Geranuim Pale Cranberry Red Linen Fabric

 

How amazing does Jeska’s garden nook look? The perfect spot for a picnic.

 

Don’t forget to follow Jeska’s blog Lobster & Swan and on twitter here.

April 7th 2014
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WEAR YOUR SUPPORT: FASHION TARGETS BREAST CANCER

Wear your support with pride, read about our partnership with Breakthrough Breast Cancer..

Leading the way stylishly forward, Fashion Targets Breast Cancer is once again calling upon your help. The campaign by Breakthrough Breast Cancer encourages ladies around the country (thats you!) to help fight against the disease by simply wearing your support!

 

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Taking exclusive place within the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Collection, we at Laura Ashley have designed two fabulous fashion pieces for the collection, of which 30% of all the proceeds will be donated to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Taking centre stage in their Pastel Sundae collection is the Laura Ashley Window Pane Dress with its perfectly pink partner, the Bow Cardigan.

 

It’s time to step up, make a difference and turn heads – all whilst wearing our chic Fashion Targets Breast Cancer pieces…

 

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Window Pane Check Dress

 

A darling dress for summer, this retro 50′s style dress will have you  trend-ticking for S/S14. For a picnic in the park or an early evening garden party, our Pink Window Pane dress is tipped for summer success.

 

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Pink Bow Neck Cardigan

 

For a pop of pastel perfection, our Bow Neck Cardigan is a worthy choice. Perfect for any occasion, dress to impress over a fancy frock or pair with classic white jeans for a glamourous daytime-cool look.

 

Looking chic and raising fund, what could be better? With your stylish donation, the money raised will go towards Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s work to save lives through improving early diagnosis, developing new treatments and preventing all types of breast cancer. Don’t forget to show off your new outfit to the world and tweet a picture to @FashionTargets & @lauraashleyUK  - we would love to see!

 

Browse the Laura Ashley Fashion Targets Breast Cancer collection here.

 

March 25th 2014
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THREE WAYS TO WEAR: THE COLOUR BLOCK SHIRT

Fashion blogger Sarah showcases her three ways to wear the colour block shirt…

Welcoming the change in season, we can’t wait to switch over to our spring wardrobes. Whilst our dreams of pastel summer dresses may be a little premature, we are turning to effortless transitional style to ease us into the sunshine filled months ahead. To help put a little spring in our step, we invited the beautiful Sarah, fashion blogger at Temporary Secretary to take part in our Three Ways to Wear fashion challenge.

 

 

Colour Block Shirt

Introducing the versatile Colour Block Shirt, this soft and sheer blouse plays true to the trend-ticking colour block style. With hints of pastel pinks and cappuccino trims, it’s ideal for dressing between seasons. With this theme in mind, we set Sarah the challenge to style three outfits featuring the Colour Block Shirt, let’s see Sarah put her fashion credentials to the test…

 

Laid Back Casual Cool 

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My first look is a nod to the Seventies, with a modern twist, of course! It’s spring, so I’ve reached for the denim shorts and a cream blazer for this outfit which is a nice transition in to the new season. I took inspiration from Made In Chelsea star, Millie Macintosh, so I’ve completed this look with a floppy hat to give it the 70′s vibe. The shirt is so versatile, that if it goes with denim shorts, then it’s going to go with everything else I’ve got in my wardrobe. We’re off to a good start!

 

From Desk to Dinner Date

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Navy and Tan Cross Body Bag

A more casual look here for outfit two. I’m constantly in my black skinny jeans so it only felt right to pair my new favourite Laura Ashley shirt with one of my staple items. It’s also a great transitional outfit from daytime to evening. It’s a simple outfit that can be worn to work and then swap the ballet flats with some killer heels, and you’ve got yourself a great outfit for after-work drinks with friends! I’ve teamed this with a Laura Ashley Navy and Tan Cross Bag handbag to smarten up the skinny jeans.

 

9-5 Chic  

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When I think of Laura Ashley as a brand, the words that come to mind are; chic, sophisticated and elegant and for this third and final look, that is what I’ve tried to emulate. I wore this for a meeting and it was the perfect balance between smart, and staying true to my own style. Looking smart yet trendy doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming (or boring), especially when you have a shirt as beautiful as this. The pastel pink collar and the light brown on the button really makes a difference. Every woman needs a shirt this gorgeous and versatile as this in their wardrobe!

There’s no denying Sarah has serious style, each look is so fabulously put together and works effortlessly for seasonal dressing. Which of Sarah’s looks catches your eye? Don’t forget to book-mark her blog Temporary Secretary to keep up to date with her latest fashion musings and her adorable dog Bonnie.

 

Browse the latest drop of Laura Ashley’s fashion arrivals here.

February 27th 2014
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TRIP TO THE ICE CREAM PARLOUR WITH ROSIE

Fashion blogger Rosie shares her take on pastel perfection with a trip to Mary’s Milk Bar…

With the gloom of February behind us, it seems like spring is just around the corner – the snowdrops are beginning to peep out tentatively, the days are getting a teeny wee bit longer and I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely feeling ready to dip my toe into the spring trends.

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Soft Touch Mint Green Jumper / Pink Tweed Pencil Skirt / Geo Print Silk Square Scarf 

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect when Laura Ashley got in touch and asked if  I would style up one of their new trend collections, giving me a much needed dose of spring/summer wardrobe inspiration. Combining spring-like sugared almond shades and tactile textures, the new Laura Ashley collections are the perfect way to ease into spring – even if the weather is having other ideas.

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Spring’s refreshing colour palette is definitely one of my favourite things about the season, and I went for pieces from the aptly named ‘Mint Burst’ and ‘Ice Pastels’ collections. The deliciously soft, lightweight mint green jumper and tailored pink tweed pencil skirt are both versatile, transitional pieces, satiating my desire for sorbet shades whilst keeping things cosy.

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I loved the vintage 50′s and 60′s influences that came through in the collection’s feminine cuts, colours and traditional fabrics. This led me to do a bit of research into my own city during this time and the immaculate, ultra-feminine style of Edinburgh’s mid-century ladies in their twinsets and tweed – never without a frame handbag and perfectly coordinated scarf – inspired the combination of vintage and contemporary references in my look.

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I wanted to reflect this retro style and polish up my choice of accessories: a ladylike vintage bag and one of my favourite ever thrifting finds – an antique heart-shaped locket from the 1950′s. The coordinating geometric print silk scarf and neutral trench coat keep things modern in a complementary colour palette.

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Edinburgh’s hidden passages have long been part of the city’s unique geography, and after clapping my eyes on beautiful shots of Edinburgh’s lanes taken by fashion photographer Norman Parkinson in the 1950′s, I knew I wanted to capture some of this character in my shots. Much to my delight, a few days later I spotted this wee lane just a few streets away from our house and was smitten with its old-fashioned lamps and pastel doors.

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My outfit was perfect for a crisp stroll around the bustling Grassmarket, one of my favourite Edinburgh spots with it’s great variety of independent shops, galleries, vintage boutiques and places to eat. Just opposite Edinburgh Castle is a little local haunt of mine, Mary’s Milk Bar, which sells the most delicious gelato in a beautiful, retro 1950s-style deco parlour.

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Hot chocolate floats are an ideal way to keep warm – my favoured orange and cinnamon hot chocolate with salted caramel gelato certainly does the trick, while the mint green décor coordinates perfectly with my Laura Ashley pastels.

Thanks for having me Laura Ashley! I hope you like my spring outfit and a wee taste of my beloved Edinburgh.

 

To follow more of Rosie’s stylish happenings be sure to bookmark her blog Everything Looks Rosie, don’t miss her delicious recipe posts and insider city posts on her home town of Edinburgh.

February 6th 2014
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THANK YOU – WE’VE REACHED 100,000 FANS ON FB!

A thank you to our facebook fans: £10 OFF WHEN YOU SPEND £75* ONLINE

We couldn’t quite believe our eyes when we reached 100,000 fans on Facebook. Wiping a huge smile across our social media team’s face goes without saying but first and foremost we’re just ecstatic that you are feeling the Laura Ashley facebook love! As a thank you we decided to spell it out in flowers, carefully selected fresh from Covent Garden Flower Market our visual team set about creating a giant 100k made up of blooms. To mark this mutual affection we’d also like to offer you £10 off when you spend £75* online with the code N575 until Friday 14th February…

*TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY: £10 off when you spend £75 until 14th February 2014. Available online at www.lauraashley.com only with the code N575. £10 off when you spend £75 cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. This offer is not redeemable instore. Not open to Laura Ashley employees. Excludes Guardsman, Design Service Fee, Delivery charges, Giftcards and licensing products.

February 3rd 2014
LOVE IS IN THE AIR

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Sweep your loved one off their feet with our Valentines gift ideas…

We can’t fault the start of February. Not only is it the end of gloomy January (hurrah) but love is in the air. It’s that time of year to show that special someone how much you adore them or pluck up the courage to tell that secret crush of yours just how irresistibly great you think they are. We are firm believers in the age old saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’ but we have to admit buying for the ladies in your life can often be a little challenging. We’ve therefore compiled our Valentines gift hints for the gents that who are stumped for ideas or the ladies dropping helpful hints (feel free to ping this link over to your partner if you are feeling forward!)…

 

SCENTS FOR YOUR SWEETHEART

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The Classics – Our iconic Laura Ashley No1 and Emma fragrances have been redesigned for the modern woman by prolific perfumer Azzi Glasser. The original Emma perfume was designed by Laura Ashley herself in 1984 for her youngest daughter Emma and Laura Ashley No1 was originally designed for Laura Ashley herself to complement the floral prints and delicate geo designs of the era. Taking inspiration from the beloved 80′s originals, these classic scents are a timeless dressing table addition.

 

BY CANDLE LIGHT

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It’s no big surprise that candles are a fail safe winner on the gifting front. What lady doesn’t love a soak in the bath by candle light? If not for a gift, then to create a romantic ambiance over an impressive homemade valentines dinner or take-away…

 

NEW PINKS TO MAKE HER WINK

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Appeal to her fashionable side with some impressive arm candy or statement pink accessories. Show your tasteful side by opting for what we have hailed as the ‘new pinks’ – shades of peachy pink (coral) or a hit of ‘look at me’ magenta.

We hope your Valentine is suitably flattered with your kind gifting gestures! After some more Valentines gift inspiration? Head over to our ‘Love is in the Air’ page on our website here

January 29th 2014
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WINTER MEETS SPRING WARDROBE

Our simple steps to take your winter wardrobe into spring…

It’s official – lighter days are now in sight and we are so over winter. The dreary weather and drizzle has us counting down the days to spring. So much so, we are embracing next season’s style early doors. Carrying our winter wardrobe into spring, we are incorporating a much-needed dose of candy coloured pastels, trend-ticking prints and must-have accessories to brighten up our perennial winter staples.

Read on for our simple transitional style steps, where winter meets your spring wardrobe…

 

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Peppermint Green Soft Touch Cardigan / Wool Mix Floral Print V-Neck Jumper /Soft Touch Mint Green JumperLilac Patterned Neck Cardigan / Ice Pink Crochet Collar Jumper 

Switch up your chunky winter jumpers for lighter knits and cardigans in a range of pastel shades for a cheerier ‘spring ready’ look. The soft touch Mint jumper is our shade of the moment, perfect for brightening up your office style or paired with a flowing midi-skirt come summer, it’s a worthwhile investment.

 

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Geo Print Back Buttoning Shirt / Abstract Jumper (in store) / Geo Pattern Wool Mix Tunic Dress / Geo Print Silk Square Scarf

Get ahead of the fashion game and add next season prints to your wardrobe. Taking pride of place in our Neo Geo collection are an array of sophisticated geometric prints. With soft pops of wearable neon shades, think bright fuchsia pinks and hits of zesty limes, these on-trend geometric patterns will have you ticking off next season’s trends early.

 

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Five Flower Statement Necklace Coral Pink Patent Grab BagSmall Wing Tote Bag / Tan Leather Satchel / Magenta Pink Leather Satchel / Citrus Yellow Wool Mix Pashmina / Green Wool Rich Pashmina Style Scarf / Blue Broderie Cotton Scarf

Not quite ready to embrace bright shades just yet? Don’t fret. Accessories are a fabulous way of bringing a pop of colour without the feeling of going overboard. Team your 9-5 work dress with the Five Flower Statement Necklace, throw the Citrus Yellow Pashmina for a fresh twist on your weekend attire and most importantly, it’s never to early to carry around next season’s ‘it’ bag – the Coral Patent Grab Bag.

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Rose Pink Wheel Print Tunic Dress / Butterfly Print Jersey Tunic Top / Navy Dobby Weave Embroidered Tunic Dress

For a relaxed off duty look, we are turning our fashion focus to tunics. The prefect transitional piece, they can be paired with leggings and pumps come shine, or layered with a cardigan and boots come rain. Soft and lightweight, the Butterfly Print Tunic Top teams a pretty print and an injection of our must-have minty green!

 

There you have it, our guide to springing forward into next season, whilst still being practical. Do you have any other tips we should know about? Let us know in the comments box below.

To browse our new Spring/Summer fashion collection, click here.

January 28th 2014
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6 Tips for a Thrifty End Of January

Savvy El shares her top tips on how to be thrifty..

January is an odd month isn’t it? There’s that long wait for payday after the festive season, plonked firmly on top of those new years resolutions to be better with finances. However by this stage of the month resolutions and the excitement of the new year have worn off, making mid-end of January a realistic time to take your finances in hand but this time for real!

 

1.    Ladies (and gents) that lunch

Switch your shop bought sandwich for a homemade packed lunch and you could save yourself on average £2.50 a day. Working out at £12.50 a week in your pocket.

 

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2.    Keep the heat in

Heating a home is expensive so it’s important to make sure you are keeping as much of the heat inside your house as possible. My favourite no sew trick is to grab a newspaper, roll it up, wrap in my favourite fabric (oh hello delicious Silver Birch fabric!) or a second hand knitted blanket and secure the ends with ribbon so it looks like a Christmas cracker. Now simply pop this in front of a draughty door to act as a draught excluder. I blogged about this homemade draught excluder over on my blog.

 

3.    Create Christmas 2014

Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? Oh I know, I know, don’t raise your eyebrow at me like that! Seriously though, go and gather up Christmas cards you were sent and cut off the pretty front and chop into a festive shape (Christmas tree, star, bell etc.). Now use a hole punch in one corner and loop through some ribbon or string – et voila gift tags to stash away for Christmas 2014!

 

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Serena Seaspray Natural Wallpaper

4.    Old to new

If you have a piece of furniture which isn’t quite doing it for you why not give it a new lease of life for the brand new year? For example, you can line drawers and cupboards with some leftover wallpaper or sand a rundown sideboard or second hand chair along with a lick of paint to give it a whole new appearance. Laura Ashley’s colour (which is an online exclusive) Lichen would be perfect for those ugly pine coloured chairs you have languishing in the garage.

 

5.    Auction off your odds and ends

Did aunty Gladys buy you something strange for Christmas this year? Have you gone off that band but have a heap of vinyl sitting in the spare room? What about those shoes which pinch your toes? Don’t let this stuff clutter up your life and drag you down! Pop it all on an auction or second hand sales site quick smart. And don’t worry about having to spend ages labouring over a description and taking photos, instead use the appropriate smart phone app. I love the eBay app because I simply take the photo with my phone and insert into the description without having to search for my camera cable or so much as open my laptop.

 

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Colour Block Cashmere Touch Cardigan / Cherry Pink Cotton Mix Scallop Trim Top / Cotton Rich Mixed Print Cardigan / Fairisle Stripe Soft Touch Cardigan

6.    Sensible sales

There are still a few sales out there at the moment but don’t get caught up buying things just because they have 80% lopped off the price! However if you do have cash to spare now may be the time to snap up gifts for upcoming birthdays throughout the year. I’ve stashed away a few DVD boxsets for a friend who adores a black and white movie and the sales on Laura Ashley cardigans has certainly made buying a birthday gift for my mother in law a heck of a lot easier and cheaper this year!

 

You can find my blogging daily at A Thrifty Mrs, tweeting @AThriftyMrsUK or pinning up a storm over on Pinterest here.

January 24th 2014
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TREND FORECAST: THINK AGAIN TWEED

A modern twist on a fashion classic, we discover the new tweed looks for Spring…

With a modern spin on a British classic, timeless tweed is hot on our radar for Spring/Summer 14. No longer just an autumnal style, think again next season as tweed has been given a fresh update with a polished, lady like feel. With softer, lightweight textures spun with soft metallics. We pulled together our must-have tweed pieces for that sophisticated spring look…

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Pink Tweed Shell Top / Soft Touch Intarsia Cardigan / Glass Ball Stud Earrings / Black Slim Leg Trousers

With pastel shades topping this season’s most sought after hues, our ice pink Tweed Shell Top will have you ‘spring ready’ in a snap. Fresh and feminine, the peter pan collar adds a contemporary twist, projecting that cool sixties feel. Spun with a subtle metallic thread, pair with tailored trousers and a colour block Intarsia cardigan for a round-the-clock chic.

 

 

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Black Slim Leg Trousers / Ice Pink Crochet Collar Jumper / Sterling Silver Freshwater Pearl Studs / Black Patent Grab Bag /  Short Tweed Jacket 

No wardrobe is complete without a tailored tweed jacket. Transforming any look, simply throw over your little black dress for power 9-5 dressing or even over your trusty skinny jeans and white t-shirt for polished off duty style. Don’t forget to accessorise with a pair of classic pearl studs and our latest ‘it’ bag of the season, the Patent Grab Bag.

 

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Abstract Jumper (in-store) / Magenta Pink Leather Satchel / Pink Tweed Skirt

Tweed is the perfect way of incorporating texture into your look; don’t be afraid to mix and match for a fun, fresh new take. Why not team the Pink Tweed skirt with the soft and striking Abstract jumper for eye catching colour blocking? Complete the outfit with an injection of pink; we have our eye on the Magenta Leather Satchel – who said January has to be dull?

 

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Green Lurex Tweed Sleeveless Dress / Tweed Skirt Crochet Top Dress

Dress to impress in one of our tweed frocks, embracing new modern silhouettes – this is all about tweed with a contemporary twist! Taking power dressing to a whole new level, the Green Lurex Tweed Dress is a unique blend of green and metallic silver spun thread. Figure flattering, the black seams give the optical illusion of a slimmer figure, whilst a black patent belt neatly defines the waist.

We think you’ll agree when we say: roll on Spring/Summer! Will you be embracing this new take on the tweed trend? We would love to know in the comments below…

Browse our new tweed infused fashion collections Neo Geo and Ice Pastel here.

January 21st 2014
NEO GEO HERO

INTO THE NEW: SPRING FASHION VIDEO

Let us whisk you away to pastures new in our SS14 fashion film…

Spring is the perfect excuse for frivolity in print and colour and this year is no exception. Our Spring 2014 collections herald the introduction of a bright and playful selection of must have pieces for this fresh time of year. Easing you effortlessly into Spring are our early SS14 Fashion collections Sherbert Dip, Ice Pastels, Mint Burst, Spring Blues and Neo Geo. Expect transitional lightweight tweeds and luxe knits in pretty pink tones and inky blues. Pattern continues to reign with popular geometric patterns and archive inspired motifs. Highlights and details include feminine scallop edged cuffs, hems and contrast detailing. Sound tempting?

Let our first Spring video capture the fashion tone for the season…

Shop our new fashion collections here