Tuesday, 14 October 2014

3 ways to wear a vintage leather skirt

Leather or leather-look skirts are one of those items that can be notoriously difficult to style: it can be all to easy to veer into sleazy territory or look and feel uncomfortable while wearing them.

But leather skirts are actually perfect for the colder seasons and can be incredibly versatile. And we'd always advocate choosing a vintage one - for around the same price as a faux-leather skirt off the high street you can get a gorgeous supple and soft real leather one from a vintage shop! We've got plenty of different styles in at Godiva, from midi length pencil leather skirts to mini a-line ones, and in a variety of sizes.

With a few styling tips and tricks you'll soon see that a leather skirt can take you from work or lectures to nights out, relaxing weekends and everything in between! The only thing I would say to avoid is wearing super-short, skin-tight leather skirts that usually end up looking cheap, or pairing your leather skirt with leather jackets and knee-length or thigh-high leather boots - they look best when worn with mixed textures.

Opt for cosy knitted jumpers and oversized sweaters - wear tucked in to define your waist or over the skirt for a more relaxed, laid-back feel. A simple well-worn t-shirt and long-line cardigan also work well: add a trench coat or wax jacket when it gets cooler. As for shoes, pretty much anything goes: low-heeled ankle boots look great, as do lace-ups or slip-ons, wedges, platforms and heels!

Casual Weekend

A Nordic wool jumper is the perfect juxtaposition to this mid-thigh length leather skirt - and it'll keep you cosy during a crisp October weekend! Wear with a pretty bow necklace by Red Brick Makes and you're all set for a lazy Sunday pub lunch - add a classic wax jacket and a pair of Turtle Doves' recycled cashmere gloves as stroll back home again.

Office Style

The pretty ruffles on this purple blouse make a tough leather skirt look instantly more feminine; this smart-casual outfit would be perfect for wearing to work or class! Don't be afraid to mix up colours, either, like this sweet red cross-body bag by Yoshi which goes nicely with the jewel-toned blouse.

Hit the Town

Who said florals and glitter had to be girly? The boxy t-shirt shape cut of this top by The Style London makes the look more tomboy/sports-luxe than girly, especially when paired with a leather skirt. Together they make the perfect wear-anywhere outfit, but add a sparkly collar and clutch and you're ready to hit the cocktail bars!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

13 of the best moments from American Horror Story

American Horror Story - brought to you by the makers of Glee, would you believe - has shocked, horrified and induced feelings of WTF-ery like nothing else on television that I can remember. There are definitely 'better' shows to watch, but there aren't many that are as entertaining and out there as American Horror Story is, week after week. The show has absolutely no limits when it comes to shocking its audience, but it's also filled with a roster of amazing actors such as Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates and Gabourey Sidibe.

So with Hallowe'en just around the corner, and the first episode of the new series (American Horror Story: Freak Show) aired earlier this week, here are 13 (obviously) of American Horror Story's most terrifying, emotional and down right fabulous moments.

1. Gazebo Coverup (Season 1, Episode 3)
In what could be the bloodiest future episode of DIY SOS ever, father of the house Ben builds a gazebo over the corpses of his mistress Hayden - killed by burn victim and peeping tom neighbour Larry with a shovel to the back of the head - and ghostly housekeeper Moira.

2. School Shooter (Season 1, Episode 5)
Tate might be a ghost, but he seems pretty relatable. Until this episode, that is. Ghost-Tate takes Violet on a date to the beach, but the pair are besieged by a group of bloody and disfigured teenagers, and they flee. Violet consequently discovers that those teenagers were ghosts who were murdered by Tate when he committed a school shooting. Tate is forced to deal with the consequences as his victims demand to know why he killed them, and admit his guilt. Yikes.

3. Teen Suicide (Season 1, Episodes 6 and 10)
Teenage Violet attempts to commit suicide. Her ghost-boyfriend (it's a complicated relationship...) drags her into the bathtub and forces her to vomit up her suicide pills. At least, that's what we're led to believe - it turns out that Violet actually died, and Tate hid her body in the house's basement. And we get to see her maggot- and fly-infested corpse.

4. Violet's Birth (Season 1, Episode 11)
This is such a gut-wrenching moment. First of all, we have to deal with the unthinkable for many television series (although, American Horror Story and Game of Thrones are putting an end to this...): the death of the supposed leading character. We are taken back to Violet's birth: Violet's ghosts watches her mother die during her own childbirth, and then comforts her in the afterlife. 

5. Lana vs. Bloody Face (Season 2, Episode 5)
I think this was quite possibly one of the scariest, hide-behind-the-cushion moments of American Horror Story. Lana Winters eventually manages to escape the Briarcliff Asylum with the help of psychiatrist Dr Thredson, who takes her to his home. Slowly, she realises that his furniture is actually made out of skin and that he is the serial killer Bloody Face. She ends up trapped in his basement of horror, where he has been abusing Lana's girlfriend.

6. Serial Killer Santa (Season 2, Episode 9)
You'll find no festive cheer with this Father Christmas. Leigh is a patient at the Briarcliff asylum; in his backstory, we find out that he murders a family in their own home, whilst wearing his Father Christmas uniform (he'd been working as one of those shopping centre Father Christmases). He then attempts to kill Frank the security guard and torture Sister Jude; he manages to drown the Monsignor and nail him to the cross.

7. The Name Game (Season 2, Episode 10)
Briarcliff's Sister Jude becomes imprisoned in her own asylum and goes insane from the shock therapy she is forced to receive. In what turns out to be the creepiest bit of light relief, ever, she acts out her own musical fantasy with the help of the asylum's new juke box. Everyone joins in with her hallucinated all-singing-all-dancing musical turn - and American Horror Story steps a little too far into Glee territory for my liking.

8. Death by Fire (Season 2, Episode 10)
Scientist Dr Arden - a former Nazi whose sadistic 'experiments' on Briarcliff's inmates have left them wandering around the grounds of the asylum, mutilated - chooses to burn himself to death in the furnace, hogging the cremation of the dead Sister Mary Eunice. Does he kill himself because he can't bear to live without his lover, or because he can't bear to live with the horrific things that he's done? Who cares - so long as he's dead.

9. Lana vs. Bloody Face part 2 (Season 2, Episode 13)
The ending of the second series is just the most brutal but perfect way of tying up all the madness that has gone before. Lana Winters, the journalist who was incarcerated in the Briarcliff Asylum after going there to report on it, realises that her son by the serial killer Bloody Face has come to find her and kill her. She manipulates him emotionally until he gives her his gun and turns it back onto him, shooting him mercilessly.

10. Dixieland (Season 3, Episode 9)
Delphine LaLaurie, a racist serial killer from the 19th century, is granted immortality and buried alive to atone for her sins for all eternity. In modern times, she is awoken and chopped into pieces. Young witch Queenie forces Delphine's disembodied talking head watch hours upon hours of television shows about the American civil rights movement to learn about intolerance. Delphine proceeds to loudly sing 'Dixieland' to avoid listening to real-life mini-series Roots. 

11. Second Sight (Season 3, Episode 12)
Cordelia is pretty nice, dedicated to her work as headmistress of the Academy in American Horror Story: Coven, but she's not exactly a powerful witch. However, when the pals of voodoo queen Marie Laveau blind her by throwing acid in her face, Cordelia discovers the power of second sight - only to lose the powers again when she gets her sight back. So she does what any rational witch would do and repeatedly stabs herself in the eyes with a pair of secateurs until she gouges them out and makes herself blind again.

12. Stevie Nicks (Season 3, Episode 13)
In what turns out to be an even more bizarre turn of events than the dance-along in season 2, Stevie Nicks makes an appearance, as herself, in season 3. It's the moment of truth for the young witches: they have to attempt to perform the Seven Wonders to find out which of them is the Supreme, the most powerful of all witches. Stevie Nicks comes along and badly lip synchs her song Seven Wonders, wishes the girls good luck and disappears again. 

13. Death by Fire part 2 (Season 3, Episode 13)
If you ask me, the character of Myrtle Snow was appallingly underused in American Horror Story: Coven. Her iconic red frizzy hair, cat-eye glasses and passion for fashion made her one of my favourite characters by far. In the final episode of the season she is burned at the stake as retribution for killing her fellow witches; and when asked if she has any last words, she screams out 'BALENCIAGAAAAAAAA' as she burns to death. Amazing.

Friday, 10 October 2014

New in at Godiva: more wintry goodies!

Our winter stock is coming in thick and fast! It's always exciting to come into the shop in the morning and see what new things have arrived since I was last in. At the moment it feels as though there's a new delivery every day, so there's lots to look forward to!

Rowanjoy Jessie dress, £75; Rowanjoy Bridget cape top, £65; Rowanjoy mega pleat skirt, £65. Items available in store, alternatively shop Rowanjoy online here

Rowanjoy's new Autumn/Winter "Wallflower" collection has been a big hit on social media and in store too: we sold out of one of the dresses on the very first day! Since then she's been busy making up some more 'Jessie' dresses - which form part of her permanent collection - in some new colourful fabrics. The green and yellow one is my favourite; it reminds me of a backgammon board, but it's actually really flattering with the yellow triangles making your waist look teeny tiny! Rowan's also made up these gorgeous mega pleat skirts in a combination of wool and brightly-patterned cotton.

Paperthinks long tote, £60; Paperthinks shopper, £65; Paperthinks envelope bag, £50; Paperthinks purse, £35. All items available in store, alternatively shop Paperthinks online here

Last week saw a huge new delivery from Paperthinks: totes, handbags, shoulder bags and purses in so many beautiful colours! If you haven't come across them before, Paperthinks are a UK brand who recycle offcuts and scraps from the leather industry by grinding them down and shredding with rubber. This reformed and recycled leather is then coated with bright, beautiful colours and made into the bags and purses that you see here. Paperthinks reduce waste from the leather industry, save animals and use a lamination technique to get vibrant colours, instead of using harmful chemicals. That's something we can definitely get behind!

The Style London sequin dress, £40; The Style London tapestry skirt, £24; The Style London tailored coat, £49.50. All items available in store, alternatively shop The Style London online here

Just in time for the party season, we've had some lovely sparkly and shimmery pieces in from The Style London! The gold and black sequinned shift dresses have 3/4 length sleeves, perfect for keeping a little warmer during the cold winter evenings. They're also very versatile, and can be worn as a top underneath a skirt, as seen here! I've completely fallen in love with the skirt too, it has this gorgeous textured tapestry effect and a flattering A-line shape.

Jenny Deans Canty studs, £25; Jenny Deans Canty pearl studs, £37.50; Jenny Deans small Canty earrings, £50; Jenny Deans Canty spiral earrings, £87.50. All available in store, alternatively shop Jenny Deans online here

Jenny Deans' jewellery is absolutely exquisite, hand-crafted in Edinburgh from sterling silver and freshwater pearls. We stock her "Daisy" collection - a selection of bracelets, earrings and necklaces adorned with silver daisy petals that can be hand-stamped with dates or names - and we've recently had some new pieces from her "Canty" collection in. I love the earrings: gentle spiral studs, available with or without the pearl, and two styles of drop earrings. So beautiful!

Silk Purse Sow's Ear earrings, £10; SPSE lockets, £20; SPSE brooch, £9. Available in store, alternatively shop Silk Purse Sow's Ear online here

I always look forward to a delivery from Silk Purse Sow's Ear: a box full of an amazing variety of necklaces, earrings and brooches, with barely two the same! The most recent delivery was no exception, with some old favourite pieces (I immediately scooped up one of the lockets) and some new designs too. I love the gold geometric stud earrings, and the running fox brooch is adorable too.

Turtle Doves cashmere wrist warmers, £22. Available in store

Earlier today we had a special delivery from Turtle Doves - a whole bag full of these beautiful colourful wrist warmers! They're each made from a recycled 100% cashmere jumper, so they're super soft and perfect for keeping your hands warm all day long. Fingerless gloves and wrist warmers are perfect for wearing indoors during the day time as well as when you're out and about, because your fingers are still free to type away at a keyboard or pop the kettle on for a cup of tea!

And besides all this, we've uploaded a whole load of vintage goodies onto our online shop! Take a look at our 'New Arrivals' section to view all the pieces, or browse my favourites below...

1960s dress, £50 (buy here)

1970s dress, £30 (buy here)

1970s dress, £30 (buy here)

Mickey Mouse jumper, £30 (buy here)

1980s jumper, £20 (buy here)

Wolf jumper, £28 (buy here)

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

5 of the most stylish horror film leading ladies

Hello October. Hello horror film season!
We're not all that into dressing up as a 'sexy cat' or, bizarrely, a 'sexy pizza' for Hallowe'en. We think it's fun to get a little more creative when it comes to fancy dress costumes, and what better source of inspiration than some of the most stylish scary film heroines?

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Mia Farrow is the ultimate 60s gamine icon with her pixie crop haircut, peter pan collars, babydoll maternity dresses and patent shoes. Her Twiggy-like emphasised eyelashes add to her doll-like look of supreme innocence - despite her fears that her husband has become involved with a Satan-worshipping cult and that something pretty creepy is going on with her baby.

Carrie (1976)

Oh Carrie. Like Matilda gone bad: a teenage outcast using telekinetic powers to get revenge on her bullying peers means this film is pretty much a must-see for teen girls everywhere. And while the 70s can be pretty hit or miss when it comes to fashion, the sassy prom dresses and mega platform shoes are a total win for me.

The Craft (1996)

Forget Hermione Granger, these girls are the witches I'd want to hang out with. This cult 90s film is all about female friendship, embracing your inner weirdness and Stevie Nicks-style wardrobe influences. Think layers of lace, crochet, leather and long necklaces topped off with pointy hobnail boots and dark nails and makeup. Also contains an important lesson for every teenage girl: how to tweak your school uniform. Combat boots, net underskirts, lace tights and oversized coats are the answer.

Rear Window (1954)

Alfred Hitchcok's films are almost as well-known for their aesthetics as anything else, thanks to legendary costume designer Edith Head. And with Grace Kelly as the lead, it's no surprise that Rear Window is often cited as one of the most stylish films in history! A high society fashion consultant with a wardrobe to match, the costumes are absolutely flawless: a fitted black top with huge frothy tulle skirt, and an elegant green skirt suit worn with a white silk wrap top are particularly iconic pieces.

The Birds (1963)

Grace Kelly's green suit in Rear Window inspired the green suit that Tippi Hedren wears in The Birds, too - find your own version and you can recycle it for next year too! This has been one of my favourite Hitchcock films ever since the first watch, but I do wonder how many people have developed a fear of birds as a result... Nonetheless, Tippi's immaculately put together outfits and coiffed hair - tailored suits, matching heels, clutches and handbags, and stunning fur coats - are iconic in their own right.

Friday, 3 October 2014

The best shoes from Fashion Week SS15!

So Fashion Week Month is pretty much at an end now. The models are scoffing well-earned burgers, the editors are compiling trend reports, the high street stores and scribbling down ideas to steal and the designers are no doubt back in the studio working on their Autumn/Winter 2015 collections. And me? I'm scouring the runway and street style snaps for the craziest and most lust-worthy shoes, of course!

Simone Rocha's crazy furry flats kind of remind me of a pair of fluffy slippers my granny owns. Maybe that's why I love them! There's also an inverted widow's peak thing going on at the toe - Count Dracula meets Cousin It?

Pointed flats are my favourite kind of shoe at the moment, and this pair from Giorgio Armani is right up my street! There were other colours, too, but I don't think you can beat a good old monochrome stripe.

These offerings from Marni are like a cross between a 'sensible' sandal, a roll of electrical tape and a tyre... and I love them. I imagine them to feel super light and springy when you walk in them. Perfect for a day of sightseeing!


More fur! Or... feathers? Tinsel? Whatever that material is, I love these Rochas heels. Ridiculous, obviously, but in the best possible way. It would be impossible to be sad wearing these shoes!

Likewise these brilliant bow-bedecked heels from No.21. With huge golden satin bows tied to the side, could this be the ultimate princess shoe? Cinderella, eat your heart out!

I love these 70s-style clog/platform heels from Prada - and the carpeted catwalk is awesome too! There were tonnes of different styles to choose from, but I love the opulence of a decorated heel, toughened up by the studs in the leather.

And last but not least... Dolce & Gabbana seem to create my favourite everything, every season, and these shoes are no exception. A perfectly elegant and refined shape, with just the right amount of unusual embellishments.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Vintage style inspiration: Downton Abbey

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you'll know that Downton Abbey is back on our screens. Each series I find myself questioning why I actually sit down to watch it week after week: the storylines are so predictable it's like I've written them myself, I don't feel any particular empathy for any of the characters, and my boyfriend laughs at me and leaves the room every time I switch over to STV on a Sunday evening.

But, aside from the Dowager Countess's snappy one-liners, the one thing that keeps me coming back every week is the costume department. My love for Downton Abbey's period style is second only to that of Mad Men (especially early-series Betty Draper, swoon!) and the costume designers must have the best job scouring archives and vintage shops for just the right pieces. Especially since the series started out in the Edwardian era, passing through the roaring 20s and now finding itself in the 30s, with the different social classes and economic statuses to portray.

I think Downton style can be pretty easily translated into a modern wardrobe, too. Now I'm not talking beaded evening dresses with opera-length silk gloves and elegant hairpieces - unless that's your thing, of course. But taking elements - a slim tweed jacket, set of pearls, or a silk blouse for example - and pairing them with more up-to-date pieces is a sure-fire win in my book. And the best thing? You can find the originals in any vintage shop; including, of course, Godiva!

This navy and white patterned dress, with its drop waist and sailor-style collar, is evocative of the easier-to-wear, more relaxed, almost sporty dresses that young women in the 1920s started to wear. Far more comfortable than those stiff Edwardian corsets! I can imagine Lady Edith wearing something like this on one of her trips to the village, paired with some lace-up ankle boots and a cosy wool coat.

I can see one of the Crawley sisters in this dress, too! The muted colour palette, delicate floral pattern and slightly sheer fabric are all details that you'd find in dresses from the period, and I think the sweet ruffles at the shoulder and handkerchief hem are nice little twists on the style.

All the ladies at Downton have an array of pretty silk blouses, much like this lovely pale pink one. The mandarin collar is nice and comfortable, and the embroidered bib adds plenty of visual interest. A string of pearls is all that's needed to finish it off!

I love this white blouse too, with its pretty lace trim down the front. But the real star of the show is this fabulous black and white embroidered tunic jacket - just amazing! I thought it looked familiar when I first spotted it, and then I remembered: it's very similar to this embroidered jacket worn by Cora! I reckon she'd be a fan of this one too.

Of course, no Downton wardrobe would be complete without some countryside attire! For brisk walks through the fields, working with the pigs or hunting and shooting expeditions, the Crawley family and friends are never seen without a trusty tweed jacket. We've had so many different colours and styles in already this autumn, but I love the classic browns in this jacket. A pretty silk scarf instantly makes it look more feminine.

And for those days where a tweed jacket won't suffice, opt for a long wool coat instead! This particular one has a lovely softness about it, especially when worn with these supple white leather gloves and another pretty silk scarf.

Friday, 26 September 2014

New in at Godiva: Mollie Brown, Azura, Rowanjoy & more!

We might be having a late blast of sunshine over here in Edinburgh, but autumn is definitely on its way and the winter collections are rolling in at Godiva on almost a daily basis. There's plenty of new pieces I want to show you: the latest collections from some of our favourite designers, and some new-to-us brands too!

You might have seen some sneak peeks of Rowanjoy's Autumn/Winter collection on social media this week, since she was shooting her new pieces over at the Hill Street Design House - Rowan popped by Godiva yesterday afternoon to drop them off. We've some beautiful dresses, tops and a stunning chartreuse skirt that I have my eye on... be quick if you fancy any of these, one lucky customer snapped up a dress before I got the chance to photograph it!

Mollie Brown
I showed you the first drop of Mollie Brown's Autumn pieces a couple of weeks ago; they were a massive hit, so we've been treated to some more. Slightly different fabrics and colours this time round, but just as beautiful as before. We're particular fans of the winter kimonos, both Asta and I have one!

We have three dress styles from this Spanish brand, all of which are ideal for the colder weather. The fabric is lovely and thick, but really comfortable too. I especially like the elbow-length sleeves on the blue tweed dress - perfect for this odd inbetweeny weather!

Suzy D
I'm completely in love with these super soft knits by Suzy D. They're kind of an oversized jumper-cape-poncho hybrid, with a cowl neck and asymmetric hemline - ideal for those days where you can't face getting dressed up but still want to look like you've made an effort. Slip one over a pair of leggings or jeans and you're good to go!

I seem to discover a new favourite bag every time we get a delivery from Yoshi. The brand has fused Japanese style with British manufacturing, so you can expect simple but stylish designs all made in the UK from the best quality leather. We have these sweet little shoulder bags and satchels in brown, red and black.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Students get 20% discount on vintage all this month!

September is always a month full of changes: not only do we start seeing the leaves changing colour and the weather getting colder, but it's the start of a new school year too. Even though I'm not at school or university any more I still get excited for September - and especially the prospect of a new autumn wardrobe! 

As a little bonus for all the new and returning students to the Edinburgh universities, we're offering a 20% discount on our vintage items until the end of the month. We get new stock regularly, so take advantage and stock up on cosy jumpers, warm tweed jackets and wool coats and leather boots to last you through the cold, wet and windy Scottish winter!

Our accessories corner is full of colourful silk scarves (a bargain at £5 each), quirky berets and vintage handbags. I love having a good dig through that suitcase to find a scarf to match every outfit!

We've had the most gorgeous outerwear in recently, including these autumnal-hued tweed blazers, wool coats by the likes of Aquascutum and even some Barbour waxed jackets!

I might be biased, but I think we have the best selection of cosy, oversized jumpers and sweaters! There's some crazy patterned ones for those of you who love all things 80s, but there's more subtle Fair Isle and Scandinavian patterned ones too. Ideal for throwing on over a pair of skinny jeans or leggings for those long study sessions in the library.