Archive By Alexa (Obviously)

16:14:00 Sophia Rosemary 2 Comments

Last Wednesday fans of both vintage fashion and Alexa Chung simultaneously rejoiced as M&S finally launched their much anticipated Archive Collection, curated and hand picked by none other than Alexa herself. I was among those rejoicing and with a wish list as long as my arm, I was the keenest bean in the can and made sure I had the collection in my clutches at the soonest opportunity! The thing is, as a long standing advocate of vintage clothing I've spent many an hour trawling eBay for vintage M&S (or St Michael, if we are getting technical on the retro lingo) finds and subsequently I own an impressive collection of their floral skirts, embroidered blouses and button down tea dresses, all of which are far older than myself! There's something about vintage M&S pieces which- sometimes using a bit of creative licence and the right styling- stays timeless. So when I heard about the Archive Collection and that one of my favourite's, Alexa Chung would be putting in the leg work to find us all the best of these retro finds, I was a little giddy to say the least. 

OK, so I may have let the giddiest go to my senses a little and I may have slightly over spent but hey who's counting (not me, I haven't looked at my bank balance since)?! Unsurprisingly, as it's the whole collection is just so bloody lovely, I adore every piece bought, I have zero regrets and there was only one thing for it, I had had HAD to show you just what exactly I spent (all) my pennies on! I decided what better way to show you than to call upon the help of my lovely and super duper talented friend Ellen Offredy to snap some photos of me wearing some of my favourites, just as I would style them. 

1. Meet Elsie

Adorable Elsie, also known as the blue polka dot dress you've been dreaming about it! This dress was high on my list of "oh my word, I need it, I want it, I can't live without it" pieces. I'm not big on dressing too glam for a night out so for me this dress is perfect. It's dressy in a kind cutesy, Lolita-esque, "I barely tried" kinda way and worn with you shiniest patent boots you're on to a winning look. I've teamed it in the above photos with my beloved Orla Kiely Mary Janes and funnily enough some M&S girls school socks, because this dress was MADE to be worn with Mary Jane's and it nicely finishes off the Lolita look.

2. When Harry Met Ada 

Probably titled the "hero" piece of the whole collection (unofficially), The Harry blouse is everything you could ask for in this season's favourite, pie crust shirt. Why? Because it looks like you could have stumbled upon it yourself in a Brick Lane vintage boutique, yet it's clean and simple enough that it's going to go with virtually everything in your wardrobe and if that doesn't satisfy most of your requirements from the perfect frilled blouse then well, I'm stumped! However as much as I adore The Harry, my own hero piece is actually, unexpectedly, The Ada cropped flare trouser! Possibly the comfiest tailored trouser I've ever worn and the most perfect fitting! I kinda feel like I've struck gold with these, I adore the above outfit and it only seemed right to wear it with a pair of metallic block heels (because nobody loves metallic footwear as much as me) however, I'm equally excited to wear them with a clean white v-neck tee and my Stan Smith's or how about a Breton top and heeled Chelsea boots?... I have big plans for The Ada.

3. And lastly, Daphne and Mae...

Festival goers look no further, I've found your perfect outfit. The Mae Playsuit... Although strictly speaking, a playsuit at a festival is not for the faint hearted and not always that practical, but on this occasion we can overlook this. Harking back the 90's slip dress, this floral silk playsuit is the easiest and comfiest thing I now own. Bold statement but true. I've worn it above with The Daphne tee, carrying through the 90's theme in more ways then one... Pretty sure I had that exact same t-shirt as a little girl circa 1993? The Daphne tee is a staple piece for layering, I can not wait for it to warm up so I can wear mine with my dungarees and Birkenstocks! Roll on summer...

So all in all, a huge thank you to Chung for ensuring in one fell swoop Archive by Alexa manages to fulfill all your summer wardrobe needs. And even bigger shout out to my girl Ellen for helping me show the collection to you in all its glory.

One last friendly word of advice- Buy quick! Because this collection is likely to get snapped up and sold out quicker than you can say "Marks and Sparks Classic Cotton Brief's" and you wouldn't want to miss out would you?



Sophia meets Love Lucy

16:14:00 Sophia Rosemary 0 Comments

Now don't get me wrong I love shopping in the likes of Topshop, Zara and H&M as much as (if not more than) the next person. They serve a purpose and they do their job well but for me, vintage and boutique shopping wins hands down. There's a charm and authenticity about boutique shopping that the high street shops just can't quite replicate. So when I got invited by the lovely folk at Love Lucy Boutique in Chorlton to come and have a little nosey at what they have to offer, I jumped at the chance (never one to turn down a nosey, especially where clothes are involved)! And they did NOT disappoint. An adorable independent boutique with that warm, make yourself at home feel and filled with the prettiest collection of clothes you ever did see. With each pieces personally selected for the likes of me (and you) to swoon over. High street, shmigh street. 

Love Lucy Boutique- Beech Road, Chorlton

So clothes wise, what exactly does Love Lucy have to offer? Well it currently stocks pieces from the likes of Motel Rocks, Sister Jane and Darling to name a few. But rather then blab on about every single item in the shop which I could easily do, I've decided to make life easier for you and I've plucked out some of my top picks for you to take a little look at... 

Dress- Neon Rose
Shirt Dress (worn underneath)- Sister Jane
Dress- Motel Rocks
Blouse- Darling London

So there's something about a sleeveless dress with a round neck which makes me feel completely compelled to turn it into a pinafore. It's a little habit of mine to want to add a Peter Pan-esque collar to pretty much every dress without one, as displayed quite clearly above. The first dress is from Neon Rose and it was the beautiful coral colour I was drawn to. The dress on its own is spot on for summer. It's easy, effortless and the shade is just asking to be worn with your best holiday tan. But whilst we dream of summer, we are still in spring... And it's England, so I decided to give the dress a little retro feel and teamed it with this adorable embroidered blouse from Sister Jane underneath. It's a nice touch and it completely transforms when and where you could potentially wear this dress, plus it makes it more accommodating for colder climates (Manchester weather, I'm looking at you). The second dress is a seriously A-Mazing stand alone piece, in a organza chiffon with the the most beautiful floral embroidery. If you're wanting to make a big impression, I'd say this party dress is the way to go. I, however have added a nude blouse from Darling underneath to tone down the dressiness and transform it into a daytime dress.

Dress- Sister Jane
Dress- Sister Jane

I'm in love with both these Sister Jane dresses! I'm a complete sucker for the following (in no specific order); lace, high necks lines, bell sleeves aaaand ruffle collars and between them, the two dresses tick all boxes so it seemed only fair to show you both? Neither of these dresses, in my eyes, need over complicating with anything additional. They speak for themselves and so all you need to do is get your ankle boots on and go. Easy! 

Denim Jacket- Waven
Dress- Plum&Pigeon

One of my top favourite collections in the shop was from local brand Plum and Pigeon who use Liberty print and vintage style fabrics to recreate these adorable baby doll, retro style dresses as seen above. I added the over-sized denim jacket from Waven to give it a more modern look, but to be honest I didn't feel the picture did the dress any justice, so I've added a second photo so you can see just how pretty it is all on its lonesome. Plus, look! It comes with its own Peter pan collar, so it's saved me a job. Wear with milk maid plaits and brogues for when you're feeling particularly kitsch.

Ok so I'm stopping there and limiting myself to just the 5 pieces! Having to pick out favourites from such lovely collections wasn't the easiest and this is just a snippet of what the boutique has to offer. If you do want to see more from Love Lucy you can find them on Instagram- @lovelucychorlton or you can visit their webpage ooooor you can just be old skool like me and go visit the store on Beech Road, Chorlton. 

 Sophia x