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.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

New in this fortnight at Godiva: autumn stock!

The leaves have started falling off the trees, the students are arriving back in town and Starbucks have started serving pumpkin spice lattes again - it can only mean the start of Autumn is upon us! We've all been enjoying having a rifle through the beginnings of the Autumn/Winter deliveries, and they seem to be going down a treat with our customers too. Here's what's new at Godiva...

Everybody loves Queenie Browne's lavender-filled Scottie dogs, bunnies, badger and fox faces... and now our little scented woodland creatures have some adorable hedgehogs to join them. They're all handmade in Glasgow, and at just £9 they make the perfect gift - great for squeezing into suitcases too!

vintage scarf, £5; mustard cardigan, £39.95; forest skirt, £85 / forest dress, £159; runaway fox necklace, £20 / zebra necklace, £25; vintage blouse, £18.50; green cardigan, £39.95; snowstorm skirt, £87.50

Everybody loves Poppy! These beautiful pieces came in last week and we've already had to order in more of the dresses - but as a warning, these are the very last ones we'll be getting in. Not even the designer has any left! In true Poppy style, there's a new illustrated storybook that comes with each purchase. This season, the little girl Poppy and her faithful dog Fred go on an adventure through the woods to find the Hairy Scary Mammoth... the little animals you can see along the hem of the skirts and dresses are the ones Poppy and Fred meet on their adventure. So sweet!  

 thistle locket, £20; floral collared tee, £38; tartan skirt, £48 / friends & family locket, £20; floral collared tee, £38; checked skirt, £48; tartan kimono, £48

Mollie Brown's been working hard to bring us her Autumn/Winter collection too, and it's been a massive hit among the staff at Godiva. I've quickly snapped up one of the tartan kimonos and I've barely taken it off all weekend - it's so comfy and cosy! We've also got autumn-ified versions of the popular collared tee and these slightly longer-length skirts would look just gorgeous with a pair of well-worn vintage ankle boots.

kirkwood tee, £18

Look who's back! Edinburgh can't seem to get enough of the Bellfield 'Kirkwood' tee so we've ordered in some more - and this time you can choose from the original cream version, or this rather festive red one! I'm sensing a pretty big woodland animals theme at Godiva at the moment...

deadly nightshade necklace, £31.50; shift zip dress, £32; vintage belt, £8; eyelash cardigan, £32 / kissing swans necklace, £30; bow tea dress, £30 / sequinned collar, £15; lace dress, £38; vintage belt, £8

Also new in from Bellfield is this longer-length eyelash cardigan, seen here with Style London's new autumn/winter dresses. The Bellfield cardigan is incredibly soft, perfect for snuggling up in! I love the new dresses too, especially the super cute bow print one in the middle. The two black ones are ideal for any events or parties you might have coming up, and would last you right through until Christmas. I think the longer sleeves look really sophisticated, but they can be dressed up or down - so versatile!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Godiva Picks: What's on in Edinburgh in September

Aye Right? How No'? (7th September)
If you missed it during its Fringe run, Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister's satirical view of the independence referendum is back for one night only at The Stand in Edinburgh. Perfect if you haven't made your mind up yet, or would rather chortle than plough through the White Paper again...

Black Grouse presents... (9th September)
I'd love to be an explorer. Actually, that's a lie - I'm far too scared of spiders, snakes, and not being able to find a clean toilet. But in my dreams I'm the best explorer ever, and I love watching documentaries about explorers and reading travelogues. And get this: four real-life explorers (Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Kenton Cool, Olly Hicks and Ben Fogle) are coming to Edinburgh to talk about their expeditions! I sat opposite Ben Fogle on a train once. Wonder if he remembers me? 

Stockfest (20th - 27th September)
This year will mark the 3rd Stockfest, a week-long festival celebrating the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh! There'll be an opening party ceilidh, a vintage flea market, culinary battles, an allotments open day, guided walks, dance taster sessions, talks, music, readings and shopping evenings... phew!

Ross Noble: Tangentleman (27th & 28th September)
I saw Ross Noble during his 'Mindblender' tour at the Playhouse last year, and it was definitely one of the funniest nights of my life. His shows are unscripted, allowing his boundless energy and lightning-sharp wits to take centre stage. Watching him leap about the stage and feeding off the crowd is fantastic - and it honestly looks as though he enjoys his performances as much as his audience.

Edinburgh Doors Open Day (27th & 28th September)During Doors Open Day, you get the chance to explore some of Edinburgh's most beautiful and significant buildings for free - ones which are usually either closed to the public, or that charge an entrance fee. Highlights include the Royal Observatory, Summerhall and Edinburgh Sheriff Court - take a look at the brochure for a full list of properties.