Shake It Off - Your New Favourite Leggings from Pertz

Pertz leggings have taken a comfortable item of clothing, and made it even better. Designed to support your tummy with a hidden control panel, the slightly shiny fabric makes the garment sit somewhere between tights and a leotard in terms of how it fits and feels.

Manufactured without an elastic waist band, they offer total comfort whilst giving support. Whilst they don't claim to be shapewear in the sense of something like Spanx, they do promise smoothness and support, in addition to giving your bottom a lift.

Perfect to wear under dresses or tunics, Pertz leggings help to minimise cellulite bumps if that's a thing which bothers you. Personally what sold them to me was how supported my legs felt when running - I wore them under my usual jogging bottoms and found that they really kept my muscles and body warm by retaining heat.

At £45 they are a bit of an investment, but having gone through the wash several times after being put through their paces running, they still look as new. Not even my thighs rubbing together has worn them in, which is pretty amazing as it's always the first thing to go in my sportswear. Of course these are mostly designed to be used as a combined tights /  shapewear hybrid, and in that sense, just having to buy the one, very durable item does save money.

Pertz leggings are available up to a UK 22, although if you can afford to size up one size, it's definitely worth doing as they do run a little small. They WILL feel tight when you first get them on, but don't worry. They have the slight feel of compression socks, but one you get past that, are so comfy and look great on.

Until next time,

(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos bar the header which is (c) Pertz. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)


Here Comes The Summer - SS16 Prints From Collectif

There's nothing like some bright, fun prints to chase away the winter blues, and the SS16 collection from vintage repro brand Collectif pulls no punches in getting ready for sunshine filled fun. It's no secret that my love for Colectif knows no bounds. Their Dolores and Mimi shapes are cut perfectly for ladies with a larger bust, and they have a whole multitude of styles to make every body shape feel like a silver screen siren.

Their spring / summer offerings are cheerful, bright and perfect for holiday suitcases and local park picnics. Floral prints, flamingos and even mermaid designs make an appearance, with a whole load of cute cardigans to finish your outfit off. Whilst it was tempting to post every single item from the collection, I've tried my best to limit it to my absolute favourites in each style. I'm sure I say this every season, but this might just be my favourite collection from them yet!

Fitted Dresses.
(l-r) Dolores 50s Cherry Print Pencil Dress (£55), Dolores Paint Pot Pencil Dress (£59.50), Hepburn Cherry Lips Print Pencil Dress (pink, light blue £40), Dolores Vintage Polka Dot Pencil Dress (£47.50).

(l-r) Maddison Toile Print Pencil Dress (£52.50), Lori Polka Dot Floral Pencil Dress (£35), Tallulah Maui Hibiscus Sarong Dress (£55), Dolores Paint Pot Pencil Dress (£59.50), Mahina Flamingo Print Sarong Dress (£40).
The range of prints is incredibly diverse and this isn't even everything which the brand have coming up. The Tallulah Maui Hibiscus Sarong in particular made me swoon when I saw it - look how pretty it is! 

Flared Dresses.
(l-r) Monica Mermaid Print Swing Dress (£48.50), Fairy Flamingo Print Swing Dress (£45), Daisy Swing Dress (£55), Adele Sea Shell Print Flared Dress (£55).
Whilst many of the prints are produced in both the pencil and flared style of dresses, there are some exceptions which are total gems such as the daisy swing dress. As someone who is both a sucker for daisies and the colour yellow, this is pretty much my dream dress and I cannot wait for it to come out. It's one of those designs which works both for summer weddings and cute dates. 

(l-r) Lucy Flamingo Cardigan (£39), Flora Daisy Cardigan (£40), Jessica Daisy Cardigan (£42.50), Lucy Mermaid Cardigan (£39), Lucy Pineapple Cardigan (£39), Lucy Strawberry Cardigan (£39).
Also new for SS16 is a larger selection of knitwear designs. Great teamed with some high waisted bottoms or thrown over a swing dress, they're the perfect finishing touch to any vintage inspired outfit.

As a whole, it's pretty much impossible to choose a favourite print from the collection as they are all fabulous. The floral and daisy prints probably match what is already in my wardrobe, but the mermaid and flamingo options are just so much fun!

Don't forget to tell me what your favourites are in the comments, and let's all hope for some sunshine and warm weather soon to wear them in!

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Collectif)


Dark Magic - Handmade Jewellery and Hair Accessories from Willow

I love discovering and falling in love with new designers, especially when they are independent businesses filled with passion for what they do. And that's exactly what happened when photos of the maiden collection from Edinburgh based designer Willow turned up in my inbox.

With a brand name firmly rooted in family ties, Willow is a brand built heavily around the idea of magic and the mystic. The designer's study of ancient magic allowed her to pull inspiration from a range of sources, with Dark Magic, the first collection from Willow heavily inspired by the moon goddess, Hekate. Crescent moons and triangle reflect this, with a dark gothic glamour accented with either gold leaf or a shimmering gold glaze. With a range including necklaces, brooches, rings and more, it's a beautiful beginning from designer Natasha.

ANGELE triangle drop earrings with gold shimmer (£14) and MEDEA crescent moon hair clip with gold shimmer (£11).

CASSANDRA: large triangle necklace with gold shimmer (£20).

MEDEA crescent moon hair clip (£11)
Hand made from polymer clay, each item is guaranteed to be individual. There is a choice of finishes too, with you being able to opt for a simple matte black, gold shimmer or dipped gold leaf design.

Image (c) Etsy / Willow.
To view the whole range, you can visit the Etsy shop here. All of it is beautiful, but my moon obsessed tendencies have definitely got my eye on purchasing the large crescent moon necklace soon!

Until next time,

Diana xx

(*Items sent for review. All opinions are my own.)

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


Fifty Plus Fashion Week - AW16 from JD Williams with London College of Fashion

Sending an 87 year old supermodel down the catwalk to open up your show is a sure way to make a statement, and that's exactly what JD Williams did to launch Fifty Plus Fashion Week. History was made as a cast of models led by Daphne Selfe and former Vogue cover star Marie Helvin strutted their stuff with a combined age of 700.

Created by JD Williams in association with London College of Fashion, the runway was a mixture of student showcase and AW16 preview. Vibrant patterns, statement shapes and stunning cuts all featured, with the 30 way coat by student Menge Wu being put into production for next season. Celebrating fashion and style without age limits was the core message, and the collection certainly looked to be offering fun, fashionable frivolity in addition to a classical, luxury aesthetic.

Image (c) JD Williams / Z-PR.

Image (c) JD Williams / Z-PR.
To be honest, I don't even know where to begin with how much I loved this collection. Although I'm nowhere near the intended market, I would wear almost all of it in a heartbeat. The white coat with the oversized collar was probably my favourite piece, but I was also really taken with some of the student's designs - Sarah Shaw's print coat and Oliver Lamoury's floaty, floral dress in particular.

The show itself was spectacular - there was something so powerful about seeing these glamorous, audacious women bringing the attitude and looking incredible. The crowd too was just as fascinating and fabulous, and I was so excited to meet two of my fashion heroes - fashionista Jean Woods, and artist Sue Kreitzman after the show had ended.

You can also click on my Instagram post below for details of what I wore.

Until next time,

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


Spring Awakening - #PSOOTD with F&F and JD Williams

The sun is shining and the weather is sweet. There may still be a chill in the air, but with the daffodils in full bloom and Easter on the horizon, spring is so close you can almost touch it. I often find this seasonal transition the most difficult one to weather in terms of my wardrobe. I end up in lots of layers so that it's easy to peel things off as the temperature fluctuates, and have been recycling my favourite gems from AW collections with lighter fabrics.

One such item is this embellished cuff dress from F&F. I was pretty much in love with all of their AW15 collection, and adored the simplicity of this easy to wear piece. The showiness of the sparkle filled cuffs are off set by the high neck and cut out, whilst the mesh sleeves make it a great breathable item as we get closer to the much fabled warmer weather.

It's a dress which doesn't need much in the way of accessories, so I teamed it with some trusty Simply Be tights and my favourite ankle boots from the Lorraine Kelly range at JD Williams. As someone who is 100% useless in heels, I cannot even begin to explain how comfy and easy to walk in they are - even for this clumsy, serial tripper upper!

Until next time,

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


Heart Shaped Sox - Valentine Treats To Me, Love Me

With Valentines Day just around the corner, it's hard to ignore the displays filled with heart prints and roses. But who says you can't treat yourself, whether loved up or not? After all, it was the great and wise RuPaul Charles who said “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

F&F are always fantastic for strong prints at affordable prices, and have a selection of beautiful dresses perfect for date night or some galentines fun.

(l-r) F&F Mixed Print Dress (£18), F&F Push Lock Cross-Body Bag (£10), AX Paris Curve Rose Print Layered Plus Size Dress (£48).
The Mixed Print Dress in particular gave me cartoon heart eyes when looking at it, as it's just the right side of casual for being the perfect cute day to night date dress. The cross body bag is also a steal at just £10, whilst the floral print on the AX Paris design is a fantastic choice for any Summer weddings on the horizon,
HJ Hall Socks - Women's Heart Print Softtop (£5.99).
If you want something perfect for a cosy night in, then look no further than these heart print beauties from HJ Hall Socks. Designed to stay up all day without leaving marks or restricting circulation, they'll keep you warm in winter and cool in summer thanks to their fine wool fibre design. They're so cute, and perfect for a night in on the sofa with a movie.

Until next time,


Oh Baby, Baby - Necklaces With Bite from Little Gnashers

Hand making necklaces with a contemporary aesthetic, Little Gnashers have created the perfect product where fashion and functionality melt together. Based in East London, their beautiful, completely customised offerings hold a secret - in addition to being a quick and easy way to spruce up an outfit, the necklaces also double up as a teething product.

As someone who is childless but has a strong eye for pretty things, I was keen to snap one up as I loved the shapes and colours available. From a purely fashion point of view, they have a certain coolness to them, a style which is both bold and easy to wear. With a strong emphasis on geometric lines and shapes, the necklaces have the power to make even the most basic t-shirt look suddenly chic. I love anything which I can just throw on without having to think too much, something which I'm sure all mothers can appreciate too.

Fashion aside, the necklaces are made from BPA free silicone beads which are completely non toxic, and safe for tiny mouths to chew on. Every necklace has a 'breakaway' clasp attached, so if the baby tugs on it too hard, the clasp simply pops open and can be easily snapped back together. They are also easy to clean, with the necklaces acting just like any other teething produdct.

Founded at the end of last year, Little Gnashers allows you to fully customise the necklace, with a huge range of colour and shape options available. Founder Victoria Dove set up the business whilst on maternity leave, explaining "I made a necklace for myself and started getting compliments from other mums, so I made a few more and I haven't looked back since! The feedback and reaction we're getting on social media has been overwhelming; just because you're a mum it doesn't mean you've lost all sense of personal style - and babies really love chewing them too."

The beads are available as either Hexagons or Quadrates, with a range of wooden teething necklaces coming in hexagon, sphere or circular options for a more natural, Skandi look. In addition to the huge range of colours, you can also pick from either a black or grey cord, with a choice of 75cm or 95cm lengths.

(c) Little Gnashers

(c) Little Gnashers
Whilst primarily aimed at mothers, the range from Little Gnashers caught my eye purely through a love of fashion. Their not-so-secret super power is amazing for teething tots, but I genuinely feel it is an additional selling point, not the only one. For just £12 you can customise your own (with additional discounts on multiple purchases available in store), and you can view the entire range over at www.littlegnashers.com. If you've got any questions, Victoria is avalable across all the usual social media channels @LittleGnashers.

Until next time,

Diana xx

* Items sent for review. All opinions are my own.

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


Sweetheart or Heartbreaker? A Valentines Wishlist from Vivien of Holloway

For anyone casting even a cursory glance at my blog, it's pretty clear that my wardrobe mostly revolves around vintage and vintage repro. I've always adored the shapes and prints, and dresses adapted from those 40s and 50s patterns have always been a hit with my hip heavy shape. For repro aficionados, Vivien of Holloway is a name which springs up time and time again.  Whether looking for a party dress or even a wedding gown, their range of styles and accessories will have you kitted out from top to toe.

With Valentines Day on the horizon, I felt it appropriate to put together a wish list of style ideas for the modern girl with vintage tastes. I'll never forget the first time I stumbled across them - the bus I was on whizzed past their Holloway shop front, and I practically gave myself whiplash by turning my heart eyed head so quickly!

Left photo (c) Tony Nylons / Vivien of Holloway. Right photo from previous blog post here.
Their dresses are probably what Vivien of Holloway are known best for, with their legendary halternecks designed to support even those with a larger bust. I've always been a big fan of their day dresses with the Runaround Sue designs being my favourite shape for day to day fun.

(c) Vivien of Holloway.
The petticoats are another incredible discovery, with multiple friends admitting to me that they tend to purchase circle dresses and skirts based around the colours hanging in their wardrobe! Priced at £59 they are certainly an investment piece, but as anyone who frequently wears petticoats already knows, you cannot beat one which is well made. The multiple layers and non-scratch fabric are reason enough, but they will transform both your dress and your mood in just one spin. Made from chiffon with an elasticated waistband and available in twelve colours, it doesn't matter how carefully you pick your shade so as to buy just one. I guarantee you always go back for more!

(c) Vivien of Holloway.
I couldn't write this post without giving their accessories a mention, with this Sweetheart Red Wicker Handbag making my heart all a flutter. Their website and shop sell all manner of items from vintage brooches to "Fakelite" jewellery and they also have a huge selection of hair flowers to finish off your outfit to perfection.

If you are based in London, it's worth popping into their store as the sales staff are always happy to measure you up and find your dream dress!

Until next time,

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


Va Va Boom! A Valentines Wishlist From A Camera Loving Nerd

With Valentines Day just around the corner, my thoughts have been turning to how thankful I am for the people in my life who I love dearly. Top of that list is obviously my partner in crime Lord Dicely, who aside from being my boyfriend has also turned into an unwitting patron of the arts and my biggest professional cheerleader over the past five years. As a freelance photographer, any utensils to help with the creative process are right up there in the "things I love unquestionably" category, so cameras and related paraphernalia all get a free pass. With that in mind, I thought it'd be fun to throw together a money is no object dream list with a Valentines Day slant. Forget about your red roses and chocolate boxes, this is all about cameras, cute and not-quite-couture.

I was very fortunate that my boyfriend did actually buy me a new camera for our anniversary a few years ago. It was an incredible gesture, because not only was it a huge investment in me, it was also a very strong showing that he really believed in me and my at times frustrating career path. If you're looking for something which is perfect for starting out with, have a look at the range of Panasonic Lumix Bridge Cameras which tick all the boxes.

(c) Panasonic Lumix
The range is designed to accommodate a large range of budgets, with the ability to shoot both photos and high quality video - perfect if you vlog as much as you blog! With large sensors and the options for wide angles, powerful zooms and 4k video recording capabilities depending on model, they rival the best entry level DSLRs if you're looking for something to simply point and shoot with incredible results.

(c) Asos
This Love Moschino Saddle Bag with Heart Detail (£145 via ASOS) gets a pass because it's a work of art. Made from a glossy faux leather, it's the perfect accessory for a red hot Valentine date. Or, you know... any occasion. The colour palette lends itself for jazzing up a LBD, with the heart detail giving a cute vibe to a very grown up purchase.

My final pick are these super cute camera necklaces from Ladybird Likes who I previously wrote about here. The necklaces cost £14 each, and are laser cut from wood. Perfect for anyone with a passing interest in photography or vintage kitsch, the designs range from sturdy Polaroids to Lubitels and everything in-between.

Until next time,

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

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