All Sewn Up - Tales From The Bottom Of The Wardrobe

Even with Autumn getting it's feet in under the table, I'm still a sucker for the perfect Summer dress. I just tend to add layers until I'm warm enough, and was so happy when I discovered I could squeeze back into this made to measure dress.

Dress: Hand-made by Katy & The Hapiness.
Leggings: F&F True.
Shoes: Vintage.
Necklace: Tatty Devine.
Flowers: Pearls & Swine.
Cat Ring: Tatty Devine.
Moon Stone Ring: Vintage.
Bracelets: Vintage.

I adore polkda dots, and the vintage lace gave the dress a lovely frilly flourish. Now that it's getting chillier, it's the sort of dress which is easy to wear with a fluffy cardigan or bolero for a soft yet grungy aesthetic. I've also got no problems trading the heels in for ankle boots with this re-discovered gem, and feel that now I've worn it once, will some what live in this dress in the coming months. It's so wonderful when you find a new love for older clothes, and I am so happy I can finally squeeze back into it!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


The Fox In The Snow - Launching The New AW14 Collection from F&F True.

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to see an exclusive sneak preview of the new AW14 collection from F&F True. With much of the AW14 edit now available online, I am so excited to finally talk in more detail about what to expect from what is genuinely an exciting, trend led and versatile range.

Upon seeing it for the first time, I was instantly struck by how the core of the designs were stepped in this season's key catwalk trends. F&F True has been designed for people who want affordable style created in an easy to wear way,and that's exactly what we have within their latest offering.

Designed to fit UK sizes 16 - 28, the collection sees bold prints mixed with stunning embellishments with a huge range of textured fabrics to replicate some of this season's most popular trends.

F&F True Zip Front Mesh Panel Plus Size Top (£16) and F&F True Leopard Print Long Line Plus Size Bomber Jacket (£45).
Snake Skin Textured Trousers.
It's clear that the range has had a lot of thought and consideration put into the development process. Detailing is key, with mesh panels, lace inserts and longer lengths all featured amongst the eye-catching prints and sparkling embellishments.

Key items like the F&F True Leopard Print Long Line Plus Size Bomber Jacket (£45) add a cool but casual touch to your AW look, giving the sports lux trend a bit more bite with it's wild animal print, ribbed collar and sleeve cuffs.

F&F True Floral Print Plus Size Trousers (£20).

Cherry Blossom Print Trousers.
Even smart wear gets a sports lux make-over, with beautiful prints available on soft, relaxed fitting shapes. The F&F True Floral Print Plus Size Trousers (£20) are the perfect example of this - simply team with a smart top and a cosy kimono jacket for an easy to wear style which is as cosy as it is cool.

F&F True Ditsy Print Peter Pan Plus Size Tunic Dress (£18).

Leopard Print Coat and Light Wash Distressed Jeans.

Patterned Tunic.
The 60s trend which had been featured heavily by the likes of YSL and Gucci on the catwalks is rampant throughout F&F True's latest collection. There are plenty of Beatnik inspired silhouettes with Peter Pan collars and bold prints galore. The leopard print coat which has been extended from the sold out version in their main range is sure to be a best seller, with it's softness beaten only by it's warmth.

Print Kimono and Grey Wash Jeans.

Knitted Kimono, Lace Sleeve Top, Jeans.

Print Kimono
F&F True Floral Print Plus Size Kimono.
The Kimono trend from last season is still very much going strong, and F&F have created a knitwear twist on this easy to wear style. Whilst the more traditional fabrics are the perfect way to smarten up a casual outfit, the knitwear version is great for feeling like you've snuggled under your duvet with style.

The collection also contains a vast collection of coats and jackets. Whether you're after a duster, rain ready parka or a biker jacket for some bad girl bite, F&F True have the perfect outerwear waiting for you. Stand out items were the PU Biker Jacket with a detachable faux-fur and of course, the eye-catching leopard print dream filled with 60s street style swagger.

Coats weren't the only cosy option available - the F&F True range also has lots of knitwear, including a fun range of Christmas jumpers available up to a size 28. If bright and tacky isn't quite your thing though, how about a soft powder blue with a beautiful snowflake embellishment? Or chunky soft knits which look soft and stylish whatever the time of year? Personally I fully intend to be rocking the penguin jumper the second Halloween is over, and then proceed to live in it, probably until February... I'm such a sucker for a cosy Christmas knit!

With so many styles available, it was hard to pin-point which item was my favourite but the lurex black dress fondly named the "disco ball" had to be the winner.

The simple shape is off-set by it's sparkly glamour with a neckline perfect for a statement necklace. The elasticated waist ensures a nipped in, hour glass creator and is without a doubt the perfect little black dress for all those Christmas and New Year fun times. I cannot wait for this to go on sale as it's at the top of my must-have list and will be the first thing I buy!

Overall, I was genuinely overwhelmed by the diversity of the collection. Whereas many plus size capsule ranges are merely a staple series of wardrobe basics, the True collection is fundamentally driven by catwalk fashion. There are classic items which are utterly timeless, but enough key pieces to keep even the most ardent fashionista happy.

The price points are great for anyone shopping on a budget, with the ability to pull together a top and trousers for under £40 and dresses starting from just £14. And whilst there are basic items in the collection which are perfect for the office, they've not scrimped on creating a selection of bold, daring and fun clothing for those who wish to shimmy and shake in something more daring.

Whether you're a 60s siren or a 90s grunge queen, there is something for you. If you're looking for comfort with style or opulent embellishments, you're in the right place . Classic, timeless pieces, or up to the minute trend led delights? Check and check. This season, F&F have cracked the sartorial code and produced a game changing range which their price-point counterparts will have to scramble to keep up with.

To view the range, click here and let me know what your favourites are!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Freeze Frame - A Mobile Photography Competition with Giff Gaff.

I'm never normally too far away from a camera, but have found myself using my phone more and more to capture those off-the-cuff moments when running from one destination to the next. As such, my Instagram feed is filled with lots of photos of London at it's finest so when I saw that GiffGaff were running a #nofilter photography competition, I thought I'd "give it a shot".

My entry is the image above - a shot taken on my phone as we pulled into Paddington station ahead of some almost apocalyptic storms which London experienced a few weeks ago. The sky was crazy, but utterly stunning and was definitely a scene which didn't need any sort of filter thrown on top.

The competition got me thinking about other images I've shot on my phone, so went through my feed and pulled out a few of my other favourites.

In addition to those ones, here are a few images which have been taken on my phone but had a little tweak with the help of filters.

If you want to give the competition a go yourself, the rules can be found on the GiffGaff website here.

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Supersonic Rocket Ship - A Trip To Bath and The Herschel Museum

A little while ago Lord Dicely and I took a day trip to Bath, somewhere which had been on my list to visit for a very long time. There were plenty of things which I wanted to see including the Roman Baths and Fashion Museum, but the astronomy nerd in my could not wait to see The Herschel Museum.

This was my best "watching the skies" face. 

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy is a wonderful historical capsule set in the Georgian house lived in by William and Caroline Herschel. William discovered Uranus whilst living in the Bath home, whilst his sister Caroline dedicated her life to "hunting" comets. We were lucky enough to catch a mini-exhibition on Caroline's life whilst there which had lots of great snippets including this panel from Wonder Woman's "Wonder Women of History",

My favourite part of the visit was sitting in the Herschel garden where they had spent their nights charting the skies using William's home made telescope. The garden and home was both incredibly ordinary, and it really made you feel that you could do anything you put your mind to if you're worked at it hard enough. I came away feeling so inspired.

Dress: ASOS Curve
Shrug: George
Shoes: H&M

As we had the whole day to enjoy, we also managed to squeeze in a visit to the Roman Baths and the Fashion Museum.

The Baths were fascinating to walk around, and with the humidity being high that day, you could get a real sense for what a visit there would have been like when they were in use. They had a few people in costume blending into the background, and a brilliant exhibition which explained the history behind the baths in a captivating way.

One of the other must-see attractions on my Bath list was their Fashion Museum. Famed for it's spectacular collection of period costumes, it was very much the smaller sister to London's V&A. We were lucky enough to see a temporary exhibit about war time clothing which really allowed you to get close enough to see the detailing.

After falling in love with the city a million times over, we travelled back to Lambourn armed with Bath buns from Sally Lunn's, and already cannot wait to go back and visit again!

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Honey In Your Hips - Plus Size Tights from Pamela Mann

Oh my goodness, what a busy few weeks! I always find things get a little crazy this time of year and it's been a never ending stream of photoshoots, writing and DJ sets for a good month now. I've finally found some time to set aside to blog again, and it feels nice to be able to share a few things which I've really wanted to talk about.

Wild Rose Printed Tights (£.99) from Pamela Mann.

First of all, how stunning these Wild Rose printed tights from Pamela Mann? Available up to a UK size 32, these garden party inspired pins are the perfect product for those not quite ready to wave good-bye to Summer. They're also a fantastic way to break up a black dress and boots, they sit on the hip in a roomy fashion with no bunching or pinching at all.

Solid Bow Suspender Effect Tights (£7.99) from Pamela Mann.
The other tights I adored were these super cute Solid Bow Suspender Effect tights. Whilst I love a good pair of stockings, these will offer a little more protection against an Autumnal chill and are easy for everyday wear with no pinging belt straps in sight! Whilst the bow is designed to go at the front, I liked the subtlety of it to the back of the calf instead as it put me in mind of a stockinged seam. Once again, this design is available in Pamela Mann's plus size range and is available up to a UK size 32. I wear mine with a 50s style circle dress and petticoat and it's nice to have that flash of a seam when spinning round.

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Baby It's Cold Outside - An Exclusive Sneak Preview Of The New AW14 Collection From F&F True.

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the F&F head office where I got an exclusive first look at the brand new AW14 collection from F&F True.

Set to be launched in mid-September, the range which spans across UK sizes 16 - 28 is much more than the typical wardrobe staples normally expected in a plus size capsule collection. Filled with bold prints, sparkle, colour and stunning embellishments, many items walk the line between day and evening creating an exciting, cohesive and adaptable collection.

It was interesting seeing how the final styles developed from key catwalk trends, with the range split into three stories - Left Bank, Duchess and Cabaret. 60s loving Left Bank takes it's cues from the likes of YSL and Gucci, with Beatnik inspired silhouettes, Peter Pan collars and eye-catching prints coming together in a range of well tailored separates. Key items included a longer length animal print bomber jacket and gorgeous, printed black joggers which were smart enough for the office yet cosy enough to still feel like you're wearing pyjamas. Plaids and prints were also at the forefront with Autumn ready layers prepared for the seasonal transitions.

Second story Duchess is very much inspired by the eccentric lady of the manor. Created with a quintessentially British style, it's heritage chic nodded towards the likes of Mulberry, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton. Imagine floral prints, smoky butterflies, lace, jacquard and plaid with texture coming by way of mohair, faux-furs and 3D embellishments. This isn't about being understated. With key items including a kimono / duster jacket hybrid and dazzling bejewelled collars, imagine the regal yet quirky glamour of Helena Bonham Carter on a countryside day trip and you're part of the way there.

As we shimmy ever closer to the festive party season, the final story Cabaret really comes into play. We're talking black on black dressing, with a mixture of textures pitting matte, shine and sheer fabrics against each other. Kimonos replace tuxedo jackets giving a masculine shape a more androgynous make-over. And there's the party ready lurex LBD affectionately nicknamed "the disco ball" which is destined to become a sell out for Christmas and New Year fun. Lace top sleeves, paisley prints and jacquard finishes merge with opulent art-deco jewell embellishments. Clear favourites include the super soft leopard print faux fur coat which comes in at an incredibly affordable price point and has already proved to be a sell out within their main range. Whether you choose to channel Liza, Madonna or Dita is up to you, but the influence of show stopping fashion from the likes of John Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent is clear in this wearable yet dazzling set.

The AW F&F True collection also contains several season spanning items such as a PU biker jacket with a detachable faux-fur trim. There's a stunning piece of kimono shaped knitwear which is softer and cosier than your duvet and they even have a whole range of coats going from bomber jackets to dusters as well as jeans and jeggings in a wide selection of finishes.

It's clear that this isn't just a collection thrown together. Prints and textures run throughout the collection in a cohesive manner, and every single detail has been considered. Whether it's the giant zips, mesh cut-outs, shell necklines or sleeve shapes, they all pull together to form a fashion conscious, trend led, completely wearable collection designed for the fuller figure. Whether you want a jumpsuit, shift dress, a bit of sparkle or a luxury print, there is something in the AW14 F&F Collection for everyone.

Some of the AW collection is available online now, but the full range launches mid-September and can be found here. And to think, we've not even mentioned the Christmas jumpers yet...

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

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