How to style quirky Korean designs in a Parisian-inspired shoot
By Elisa, Chief Wanderer and Wandering Minds Founder
At Wandering Minds, we’re all about mixing pieces from Seoul, Copenhagen, Paris and Sydney to create an outfit that is uniquely yours. This is the type of styling that really gets us going. Company magazine did this wonderfully in their February issue, teaming our houndstooth fluted skirt by indie Korean label Outstanding Ordinary and our relaxed navy striped top by Seoul-based RocketxLunch with other labels in a shoot taking place in Paris.
While the effortless elegance of Parisian style is the overall style direction, the individual quirkiness of each of the pieces chosen create an eclectic feel that gives classic French style a complete overhaul.
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
When people talk about new years resolutions my instant thought is “that great big list of unrealistic life changing plans we set ourselves to accomplish in very little time”. And the reality is, most of the time they are pretty unrealistic and by February all those grand ideas of going to the gym 4 times a week, only eating super healthy organic meals, and drinking 2 litres of water a day seem like a distant silly thought you once had (a month ago).
And why? Well, personally I think we’re too hard on ourselves. We set the stakes too high, only to give up before even getting close to our goal.
That said, I do think resolutions are important. That feeling of starting up fresh, rebooting your life and starting a new cycle. It’s the best feeling in the world! But it seems so unfair to make all these life changing decisions without even getting a taste of what the new year will bring. You should have some guidelines from the start, they help you keep motivated, but also be ready to change them if that’s what feels right.
So for 2014 I choose not to be so hard on myself. I will have (semi-grand) goals but also leave space for improvisation and most importantly make resolutions I can actually keep!
Starting with my biggest (and hardest) resolution for the new year, a massive wardrobe clean up. My boyfriend says I’m a borderline fashion hoarder, and he’s probably right. My accumulation of clothes from nearly all different eras of vintage fashion has gone a bit out of hand. So I’ve made the decision to only keep the truly special items (but they’re all so pretty!) and renew my wardrobe with brand new wardrobe staples. It will be a hard task to depart from items that I love so dearly, but it’s a necessary one.
To avoid replacing all my clothes with an equal ammount of new ones that I’ll never wear, I’ve made a list of 7 absolute essential items for this season. Which I will have to follow religiously, along with the ocassional little treat, of course.
- The perfect long-sleeve t-shirt
- The cool skirt
- The special little dress
- The perfect everyday knit
- The perfect winter coat
- The cool sweater
- The little black dress
Christmas shopping can be a hard task. You run around town all day seeing all those amazing things that you would love to buy for yourself, but need to stay focused on that extensive gift list for friends and family. And let’s face it, sometimes you end up buying presents for yourself instead. But hey, it’s Christmas right? You have dinners and parties to attend and the fact that “that amazing dress is perfect for New Years Eve, and you probably need a necklace to go with it” is a good enough excuse. We all do it.
And that is why I’ve made a selection of my favorite items this season that are perfect for giving to the ones you love (and that includes yourself).
I am loving this season’s knitwear craze - the cosy oversized jumpers inspired by 90s minimalism, the chunky black & white marl knits and the super fun co-ords are really taking over this winter and I’m enjoying having such a broad selection of cosy and cool items to wear.
Every winter I would dread having to wear boring knits just to keep me from freezing, so I would layer up a trillion items of clothing and wish for summer to come back fast. This season I’m actually enjoying that it’s cold so I can wear cool knits without compromising my style. Nothing like a trend that’s actually practical, right?
That is why I’ve made a compilation of this season’s must-have knits, all designed to make you feel extra warm and looking extra cool this winter, all available in-store and online at ourwanderingminds.com.
The knitted daisy lace grey jumper from Korean label Grace Raiment
The daisy mix & match knitted co-ord by Korean label Margarin Fingers
The chunky black marl knit with zippers by Copenhagen label Mbym
The oversized texture black zigzag knit by Korean label Grace Raiment
Grace Raiment - AW13
Korean label Grace Raiment just launched their new AW13 collection and I’m completely in love. We’re shooting the collection next week so you can’t shop for it online yet (soon, very son!), but I thought I would wet your fashion appetite and give you a sneak preview anyway.
This season, the label has taken their trademark delicate silhouettes and intricate details to a new level, creating an amazing collection that I just can’t get enough of.
The stunning silhouettes remind me of a clean neo-romantic version of 70s Biba, like a modern take on Victoriana that is girly, fun and super unique.
I love the delicate palette of colours and the way they play with fabric layers and transparencies. One of my favorite pieces has to be the zig-zag knit jumper, with its textured layers of complex knitting techniques. Combine it with a floaty midi skirt and you have an absolutely dreamy outfit! We have this awesome knit in white or black, and I want both.
I think what I love the most about this collection is that each piece is so special on its own that you could wear it with a basic and have an instantly cool outfit. Effortless and fun!
White & Texture
People say white is the ‘colour’ for summer. So far so good. Strictly speaking, white isn’t a colour. Says the physicist. In fashion sense it is.
I like white. White has recently moved from being all innocent and pure but slightly boring, towards cool styles that play with different levels of transparency, weave and knitting structures or origami-like effects. A white garment lets the structure, the fabric and the cut work for itself since there is no colour that would somehow give a sexy/flashy/mysterious undertone.
White is cool and the person wearing it automatically communicates a certain classiness and, if worn in the right way, a sense of style that is much more laid back than any other colour could be.
I for myself love structured whites that play with that tiny bit of sexy chic without deliberately showing too much. Key items and personal favourites of mine I have listed here for you. Luckily you can get them all at our store at Boxpark, Shoreditch or online http://ourwanderingminds.com/ :)
Je t’aime, Jane
So last week I wrote about Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon. Some might think that writing about Jane Birkin, their mother, this week seems a bit uninspired. To those people I happily reply: Have you seen this woman?! Jane Birkin, English born actress, living in Paris since the sixties, first proper It-girl whose style embodies a laid-back bohemia that just feels so French. Funnily enough, Elisa, chief wanderer, has done it exactly the other way round: born in France, living in London now. If that isn’t reason enough to take a closer look, Jane’s signature look, that sexy Parisian tomboy style, is still totally up to date. She is the free-spirited 60s original boho chick whose style has influenced generation after generation.
Feminine, yet not too girlie, combining little dresses with androgynous flats. She loved white lace, crochet or broderie anglaise.
Our version of the white lace dress:
Shift dresses make your legs look endless. Jane knows it.
To add impact, combine your shift dress, shorts or miniskirt with knitted over the knee socks. Never looks overdone and stretches your legs into unknown heights.
Get them online:
As a Brit girl in Paris Jane has a weakness for breton stripes. Makes every outfit look appropriate and fresh.
Our pop-up store: the story
by Elisa, Chief Wandered and Wandering Minds Founder
The blog has been a bit abandoned lately (and that’s quite the understatement), but I have a pretty damn good excuse. We opened our first ever pop-up store a little less than a month ago, and running an e-store AND a brick-and-mortar store at the same time is not easy.
Let me tell you how it all happened. A few months ago I attended a networking event for entrepreneurs at my old university (Oxford). This was my first networking event, and let’s be honest I’m pretty sh*t at it. And yet, on that day I met one of the founders of We Are Pop-Up, a start-up specialising in linking small businesses with pop-up spaces. He encouraged me to take part in a competition that they organised with Boxpark, the pop-up mall based in the heart of hip Shoreditch in East London.
So a couple of days later, co-founder James and I were pitching to Boxpark management, and well, we ended up winning 6 weeks free rent at Boxpark.
We opened our store on 11th April, after a couple of sleepless nights spent bringing all the stock and merchandising the space nicely. We had a party that night, where friends, online fans and strangers mingled and had a jolly good time.
How has it been going so far? Surprisingly and remarkably well. We’ve been able to get direct feedback on our products and get a grasp of the wide variety of customers Wandering Minds can cater to: from 20-something hipsters to the coolest German grandmother who must have been in her late 70s. It has been so cool to see how so many different people could fall in love with our products.
Come visit, we’re there until May 22nd.
Aussie style round-up (and our flash sale!)
By Elisa, Wandering Minds Founder and Chief Wanderer
A stepping stone has been reached in our quest to get the coolest of our favourite style cities around the globe: we are now collaborating with up-and-coming Aussie label Stylestalker, which is arguably one of the best labels Australia has to offer (and we’re doing a launch sale this week only to celebrate!).
And that’s quite a statement, given Australia’s rise to style heaven over the last decade. To me, Aussie style is like the love child of LA fashion and british style, combining the relaxed-bohemian feel of the West Coast and the bold prints and colours so characteristic of British quirkiness.
While a lot of aussie labels are a bit pricey, the incredible fit and detailing, the unique prints and shapes, and the aura of understated sexiness totally make up for it. Australian fashion is about joy, fun, relaxed edginess (and sex).
Here is my round-up of my favourite australian labels of the moment - I’m talking wear-everyday, up-and-coming, affordable, not-everyone-knows-about-them kind of labels:
Stylestalker: This was THE australian label we wanted to stock, and well, we did it! Stylestalker has it all, really. Think cool degrade of bright colours, smart tie-dye effects, and little dresses with cut-out details and open backs. We picked the best pieces of the season in our tightly edited Stylestalker capsule collection (and they’re on sale this week!)
Our model Victorija wears the tie-dye border cut-out dress
Finders Keepers: This is a label that we want to stock in the future. It is more structured and slightly more grown-up than stylestalker, but still so much fun, with some truly outstanding separates that you will wear for years to come.
Minkpink: Ok so this one is pretty well-known, but still worth including in this list, because talking about cool australian clothes that you want to wear everyday needs to include Minkpink. With its colourful florals and psychedelic prints, it’d be easy to think that Minkpink is a teenage-only brand, but a carefully chosen selection of their vibrant pieces would brighten up any boring wardrobe.
Trend I love: Dizzyingly cool prints
By Elisa, Wandering Minds founder and Chief Wanderer
If there was one trend that made us excited about Autumn when we started buying our winter collections this summer, it was all these dizzyingly, blindingly cool prints that started popping out in the streets and were everywhere on the catwalks. And judging by what I saw from the latest round of fashion weeks, it is not a trend that is likely to go away any time soon.
Caroline Issa (shot by The Sartorialist)
But here I am talking about trends. Who cares, really? What I love about all these prints is that they look exciting, and have this exotic combination of something retro that’s been re-invented. I particularly like the more geometric type of prints out there, which look both classic and crazy, possibly the best combination ever.
However, I find the sub-trend of clashing prints a little more difficult to pull off, and so when selecting the clothes that we would be getting for autumn, I favoured simple mini shift dresses in stand-out but easy-to-wear prints, like our star-print mini shift dress, which I wear almost everyday. It’s short and sexy, but the loose-fit and completely unique geometric print keep it fresh and cool.
My second print-pick of the season is our black and white checked, 1960s inspired shift dress. The print is indeed very 1960s, but definite contemporary edgy thanks to the digitally faded effect of the checks (does this make sense? Check out the detail of the fabric and you’ll understand). Again, the short hemline makes this print extremely wearable and edgy, and it looks tremendous worn with tough-looking ankle boots.
London Fashion Week - Just a big circus?
By Elisa, Wandering Minds Founder and Chief Wanderer
Reading Colin McDowell’s latest column in The Business of Fashion - where he describes London Fashion Week as “festival of childish self-indulgence” - confirmed my growing feeling that it had all become a bit of a circus, but in typical fucked-up Elisa fashion, has left me a tad uneasy and unsure about my own opinions.
Unlike McDowell, I quite enjoyed the “riotous colours” and franzy of digital prints that he condemns - I assume he’s referring to Louise Gray and House of Holland, amongst others. Why? Because they appeal to me as a young consumer, and I really don’t mind not seeing elaborate or elegant shapes because that’s not what these shows are about. They’re about reflecting and reinforcing - in a beautiful vicious circle - London street style, which can come close to fancy party dress up.
London street style at Sommerset House (above), celebrated in Louise Gray’s show, below. Street style photo by Parisa Walklett for Wandering Minds.
I suppose the fact that collections which are almost exclusively entrenched in street style make the fashion establishment a little nervous. Yet I understand McDowell’s point that, from a business perspective, London Fashion Week needs to step up a notch if it wants to continue attracting global interest.
But then again, if major fashion publications refuse to take note of these ‘festival-designers’, consumers and blog readers do. They like the fun, they like the colours, they like the craziness. And surely they represent a huge amount of money to be made by high-street chains, which I’m pretty sure won’t turn up their nose at these ‘riotous’ trends.
My personal favourites at London Fashion Week fell in between the categories of ‘really serious designers’ (Burberry, Erdem et al.) and ‘the gimicky designers’ (Louise gray, House of Holland etc.). In particular, Margaret Howell, for me, struck the perfect balance between impecabble tailoring and street style inspired looks, with her 1990s dungarees made good with perfect white shirts.
Burberry (above) was delightful, but didn’t make me want to re-invent myself. While Margaret Howell (below), gave me real inspiration on how I should dress next summer.
Inspiration: Taylor Swift meets the Kennedys
By Lucie Goulet, Wandering Minds guest blogger and wise strategy advisor
What would you wear to meet the Kennedys? Holidaying in the Hyannis Port family compound with boyfriend Conor Kennedy (that’s Robert Kennedy’s grandson, JFK’s grand-nephew, and he’s got the family hair and look), Taylor Swift went for florals, polka dots and more florals with a few stripes thrown-in. Now we may not be fan of her music, but we’ve got to admit that we liked her youthful and vibrant wardrobe choices, perfect to meet the first American family and all the paps following them around. Cue to vintage-feel swimwear and dresses you could dance in. Think, since you can’t evoke the Kennedys without name dropping her, early Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, an American student at La Sorbonne, visiting Europe with her sister, winning a Vogue writer competition… Jackie with the dreams, the possibilities and none of the drama or heartbreak.
The great thing is, she never made the outfits look too girly, accessorising with Ray Bans here, flat shoes there, clashing colours and prints everywhere. In keeping with the retro vibe, we would have thrown in a casual blue and green crewneck stripe t-shirt as a beach cover up, a pink silky strapless floral dress for family dinners and a peter pan-collared floral blouse with hot pants for lunchtime barbecues.
What do you think of Taylor’s summer wardrobe? What would you wear if you dated the scion of one of the most legendary American families?
Trend I’m loving: the (half) tucked-in shirt/tee
By Elisa, Wandering Minds founder and Chief Wanderer
One couldn’t say I’m a ‘trend’ sort of girl, as I tend to be pretty consistent with the things I like: colours, prints, skater dresses and skirts, short shorts, and preppy separates.
However I do have changing preferences silhouette-wise, I will go from loving oversized layers to being obsessed with cropped top and high-waisted bottoms. At the moment, I’m sucker for the half-tucked/fully-tucked-in top look.
So what you do is that you take a very simple tee, or a slightly loose shirt or blouse, and you nonchalantly tuck in the front of the top into your shorts/trousers/skirt, but leave the back hanging loosely on your bottom. For a cleaner look, you can also completely tuck in the top, but leave it a bit loose and relaxed.
You couldn’t really say it’s a trend, but rather a pervasive mood, that of relaxed elegance. Stylish people across the world - men and women - seem to be sporting this look, and I’m in love.
What I love about this silhouette is that it is completely casual, and yet has a touch of old-world formality, like a dandy who partied hard all night and looks a bit worse-for-wear but completely cool.
At Wandering Minds, we’ve bought our top collection in this spirit, and thankfully the young designers whom we worked with shared our vision. To achieve this look with a shirt, I recommend our loose-fit pleated white blouse, or our loose-fit pale yellow shirt with navy collar. Team any of these tops with our navy skater skirt with zippers, which is perfectly adapted to some tucking-in action.
Here are examples of the (half) tucked-in look found on The Sartorialist, and our interpretation of it!
Wandering Minds works the look:
Loose-fit pleated white blouse, by Grace Raiment
Micro-shoot 1: Elevated street wear
By Elisa, Wandering Minds founder
A few days ago we did a ‘micro-photoshoot’ with two of my stunningly beautiful friends. The idea of the micro-shoots - we’ll do a lot more of these in the future - is that we put a cool outfit together and shoot it very quickly, just to get our creativity going and have some fun.The models, Olivia and Tonya, went to the same school as the Wandering Minds crew. It is rather lucky that I happen to be surrounded by amazing looking girls - when you’re a broke entrepreneur, it’s all about exploiting your network.
We put the girls in our oversized pleated sweaters by Seoul designer Grace Raiment. Olivia was wearing her own Levi’s shorts, and Tonya was wearing our high waisted red wool shorts. It was actually Roxane’s (Wandering Minds social media queen) idea to have them wear the same outfits in contrasting colours. I had reservations at first, but turns out the outfits worked amazingly well together, giving a cool 1990s team-supermodel look to the girls, which was a bit cheesy in the best possible way.
The photoshoot made me fall in love with these sweaters even more. Their oversized shape and cropped length make them move in a very inadvertently sexy way, revealing little bits of skin every time you raise an arm. The pleats make them look completely unique, in fact I’ve never seen anything quite like it, anywhere. We teamed the sweaters with high-waisted shorts, the contrasts in volumes and lengths bringing the whole outfit to another level. This is what I called elevated casual street wear.