Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Resurrection of the Kick Hi's

The Stone Roses - (Image credit)

Lately I've noticed a trend resurgence for Kickers. For me, this brand rekindles memories of many pairs of well loved and well worn school shoes. Out of all the Kickers I had, there was one pair of chunky black buckled heels that I was particularly fond of. However, the Kickers shoe of choice now is the legendary 'Kick Hi' boot.

Kickers 'Kick Hi' boots in Red | Kickers 'Kick Hi' boots in Tan

Kickers is a french brand founded in 1970 and the first 'Kick Hi' boot surfaced in 1975. It has become famous for its musical connections. Being worn by the likes of Roger Daltrey of The Who fame (below). It later became popular amongst the acid house scene before becoming synonymous with the 'Madchester' and Brit Pop scene in the 1990s. Kick Hi's have always made me think of The Stone Roses because of their Fools Gold video. Hence my poor attempt at a Stone Roses reference in the title of this blog post. 

Kickers advert featuring The Who's Roger Daltrey - (Image Credit)

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker - (image credit)

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker is also a notable Kick Hi fan. I saw him at Sheffield train station the other day and I didn't say anything too him - I got too scared! I am kicking myself now a bit as Jarvis Cocker is one of my heroes. However, I'm sure I would have made a bit of a tit of myself by having a verbal vomit about how much I love 'Different Class' so perhaps its for the best that I did not approach him!

Lazy Oaf x Kickers collaboration - (Lazy oaf website)

Kickers also did a collaboration with a long time favourite of mine... Lazy Oaf! I have been a fan of independent clothing brand Lazy Oaf since their days based at Superette just off Brick Lane when they shared shop space with one of my favourite jewellery brands 'Lady Luck Rules OK!'. Sadly the latter is no more but Lazy Oaf have gone from strength to strength over recent years. Kickers is just one of the big name brands they have collaborated with in recent years. The collaboration also included a fab pair of Kick Hi brogues but I believe the whole collection has now sadly sold out.

Kickers 'Kick Hi' in Black Pink - £75 -  Office

I saw a girl wearing a navy pair with black jeans in manchester last week and that what got me thinking about Kickers. As great as the navy pair were, I spotted these black Kick Hi's in Office recently with the pink stitch detail and laces so if I was going to invest in a pair (and lets face it, I probably will) then I reckon these will be the ones. I am a complete Dr Martens devotee but I think Kick Hi's are a bit easier to wear for those who find DM's a bit fierce!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

An Ode to the Tartan trouser

I recently wrote about my soft spot for big ugly shoes. Well, on a similar 'necessities' theme I thought I'd divulge my affinity for all things checked and tartan. For the last couple of years I've been loosely on the search for the perfect pair of tartan/checked trousers after I spotted this image on tumblr:

Original Tumblr inspiration image

(L): Asos / (R): Topshop

Its funny how style and tastes evolve as I'm now not quite as mad about the Tumblr ones as I once was. I found my first pair in Topshop last year and then my new ones from ASOS were originally spotted in the ASOS magazine feature about Brit Marling a few weeks ago. They're quite a loose fit but they're considerably more comfortable than the Topshop ones - I couldn't wear those to a big meal or a day of lectures! I popped into River Island a few days ago and spotted another pair (thankfully I restrained myself and didn't buy them but they are fab). I'm reluctant to include a photo of them as the website picture does them no justice at all. In reality they're a deeper red and have really nice black detailing. These Topshop boutique ones are also lovely and, like my ASOS checked trousers, are available as a full suit. Obviously I'm aiming to dress these kind of trousers down a bit so I'm not really interested in matching jackets but these could look amazing as something a bit more alternative to a formal event or as work wear. I'll probably leave them as I've got a couple of other pairs of printed trousers and I have to be realistic about my student budget.

Last year looking for a pair of tartan trousers was like looking for a needle in a haystack. But after Fall collections from the likes of YSL, the high street is inundated with them. Mango, Zara, and River Island are notable for their punk inspired collections this autumn. However, I think you have to be careful with tartan trousers as for many people they incite images of badly dressed punks and old ladies - definitely avoid the ones with copious amounts of zips, safety pins, and straps! If you aren't feeling the trousers then I think there are many alternative ways to work tartan and checks into your winter wardrobe.

Saint Laurent F/W13 - Image credit:

Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent (still struggling with the name change a bit!) collection,  with its juxtaposition of gentle feminine fabrics and textures against metal and leather, was fantastic. Usually the term 'grunge inspired' incites an eye-roll from me but I do see elements of it in this collection. (It could be argued that high fashion can never be grunge, but thats a blog post for a rainy day.) It got me thinking of different examples of how to work tartan and checks. I liked how delicate black lace slips were paired with tough black boots and oversized checked shirts and cardigans. You can also find plenty of tartan tea dresses on the high street which are great if your tastes are more on the gentle and delicate side.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Oversized white shirt - Urban Outfitters (on sale) | Checked trousers - ASOS | Triangle pendant necklace - ASOS 
'Drenge' LP by Drenge - Piccadilly Records

Thursday, 15 August 2013

An Ode to the 'Ugly' Shoe

Stella McCartney A/W 2013 | Photos from

I think Stella McCartney A/W13 was one of the standout collections from London Fashion week. I love the influence of strong masculine tailoring. But it was one particular aspect the collection that I fell for: the spectacularly ugly shoes. It no secret that I've been a long time fan of 'ugly shoes' with my creepers and Dr Martens, so its hardly a surprise that these caught my eye. The treads of these Stella McCartney boots remind me of tractor wheels and wellingtons. Sadly I can't afford the real thing and I suspect I would turn a few heads (in the wrong way) if I turned up to a lecture in these so I went looking for some tamer high street versions.

These Jeffrey Campbell boots are pretty much a carbon copy (and still a bit fierce for me) but I do love the clean-cut white 'Scully' platforms with the ankle strap. They would particularly amazing in black with a white tread, like the ASOS 'Alfred' boots below.

I think as autumn approaches McCartney-inspired heavy tread boots will flood high street but these are the best I could find for the moment. The Vagabond boots (centre and top left) are my particular favourites.

While they don't have the heavy tread, my Topshop 'Astrix' boots kind of remind me of the McCartney boots. They're incredibly comfortable and therefore great for during the daytime. However, many people keep commenting on how high they are (??), perhaps I need to show them the Stella McCartney and Jeffrey Campbell boots above!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A/W 13 Mood Board

Image credits: Tumblr / Elle Collections / ASOS Magazine / Mango / Ebay / Fashion Toast

Felt like throwing together a quick mood board of all the things I've been into lately. The hot weather went away and I've started thinking about A/W already! I'm loving tailored layering, grunge, silver and massive flatforms. Desperate to get my hands on the Mango ones in the top left hand corner to pair with the fab checked trousers I've just bought from ASOS (pictured on a jumping Brit Marling above for ASOS Magazine).

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Long time, no speak

I thought I'd just catch up quickly with what the past couple of months have contained for me. I've got some blog posts in the pipeline so things should be fairly back to normal soon. (Got a pinafore dress on the way to me in the post, yeah!)

I have uni exams in early June so my time has pretty much been consumed by this:

However, the past couple of months have not consisted entirely of this. I also went out dressed as a golfer to celebrate handing in our massive 5k essays, which didn't go very smoothly after West St Live (if you're from Sheffield, you'll know):

(me in center)

I visited a housemate in Manchester and was treated to amazing weather. We just hung out in his garden all day:

Many months of saving have accumulated in a new turntable/amp/speaker setup. My old record player was one of those all-in-one jobs and it sounded like the music was being played through a tin can which was not good! This new one is amazing and its such a pleasure to be able to listen to records again:

A few recent record purchases:

(L-R: 'Sufer Rosa - Pixies, 'Repeater' - Fugazi, 'An Awesome Wave' - Alt-J)

Back to fashion-related posts soon I promise!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Detestival Review

Photo: Alice Burrow

Published on the Forge Press website - 05/04/13

working men’s social club may seem like an unlikely venue for a two day showcase of some of the best and heaviest music on the scene at the moment. However, over Easter weekend the tinsel curtain-clad walls of Sheffield’s Queen’s Social Club played host to Detestival. As the brainchild of Sheffield duo Wet Nuns, it was billed as a selfish excuse for the pair to showcase a selection of their favourite bands. 

While the bands were all different, if a general theme is to be plucked from the line-up then its heavy guitars. Black Moth brought some good old-fashioned heavy rock to the early afternoon line-up. Front woman, Harriet Bevan, is a fantastically edgy vocalist and they were one of my highlights of Tramlines 2012. They delivered a similarly strong set at detestival from recent LP The Killing Jar. The front man of Dry Heaves summed up the tone of the weekend by declaring “#SWEATY” at the end of their furious hardcore punk set. Throne followed Dry Heaves with their own slightly more subdued brand of stoner rock. Early Saturday evening, Leeds-based Hookworms were let down by bad sound and lairy afternoon drinkers but still managed to deliver a promising set fresh from the release of their blisteringly good LP. 

I’m hesitant to apply a label to Japanese band Bo Ningen, but I’ll tentatively plump for acid psyche with moments of really heavy punk rifts. Hyped up as a Wet Nuns favourite of the line-up, this androgynous, long-haired four piece completely stole the show for the whole weekend. The strangely entrancing dance moves and peculiar gurning of the lead singer paired with psych rifts made this set pure madness. They left the subsequent bands Wet Nuns and Wolf People muttering regrets that they had to follow such an act and shouts of “Bo Ningen!” were heard amongst the crowd for the rest of the weekend. However, Wet Nuns need not have worried. The wonderfully heavy blues-rock of this Sheffield duo has gained a strong following over the past year and they didn’t disappoint the home crowd. Delivering one of the strongest sets of the weekend from a band that claim to be inspired by “women, booze, death, and Enya”. ‘Throttle’ was a particular highlight of the set. Sadly they plan to disappear for a while but they will hopefully return with a much-anticipated LP later in the year. Wolf People ended the day and brought some calm to proceedings with their own breed of folk rock.

Day two of Detestival promised to be a -slightly- more laid back affair, a god-send for the aching limbs and raging hangovers caused by Saturday’s onslaught of furious heavy rock and hardcore punk. Wet Nuns had managed to wrangle some of the best and most exciting new psych bands on the scene for the festival. Sheffield’s Temple of Coke ripped open proceedings on the second day, delivering a set of their trademark short, fast and furious metal tracks. It is refreshing to watch a band that doesn’t take itself seriously and the band’s performance can only be described as brilliantly shambolic. If you do nothing else today, watch their fantastic cover of some pure 90s gold, All Saint’s ‘Pure Shores’, on Youtube to get an idea of what this Sheffield band are all about. 

John J Presley, a performer who describes his style as “blues folk noir”, played a completely captivating set with heavy guitars and Nick Cave-style gravelly vocals. Manchester’s Kult Country felt rather different to the rest of the bands in the weekend’s line up but they were a firm highlight of Sunday with droning vocals and heavy effects. Following Kult Country’s well-received set, Temples brought their own brand of mesmerizing dreamy 60s inspired psych to Sunday evening. I can’t recommend their debut single ‘Shelter Song’ highly enough; it is an absolute must for Beatles fans. 
London- based TOY brought Detestival to an end, headlining Sunday evening after the unfortunate cancellation of Hawk Eyes. One of the most heavily hyped bands of 2012, this psych rock group delivered an amazingly good set, which was a fitting end to the weekend.

Wet Nuns / photo credit

The limited amount of sound checking time let some of the bands down over the weekend but this festival was clearly a labour of love by Wet Nuns and was curated perfectly. There was a great deal of variety amongst the bands playing but the weekend really came together as a whole. The atmosphere of heavy food (Street Food Chef provided some tasty Mexican delights), heavy drink and heavy music made the weekend mind-blowingly good. Like Tramlines, hopefully this festival will grow to be a permanent Sheffield fixture.

by Alice Burrow

Friday, 22 March 2013

Miroslava Duma

I have been meaning to write a post about my current style obsession, Miroslava Duma, for a very long time. However, real life issues (uni work, cake baking, serving pizzas...) seem to get in the way and besides, the longer I leave it, the more images surface on the internet that make me fall even harder for her style. Every outfit looks like it has been carefully considered right down to the very last detail. However, I suspect that for the pint-sized Russian editor this is a completely effortless process. Miroslava is a firm favourite with the street style photographers at all the major fashion weeks and parties. While she regularly cobbles together an array of luxury western designer pieces, she prefers to champion Russian designers such as Vika Gazinskaya and Alexander Terekhov. Russia is shaking off the style-less abyss of the USSR and a fledgling design industry is slowly emerging in Moscow.

photo credit: street peeper

photo credit: Mr Newton

photo credit: stockholm-streetstyle

photo credit: Vanessa Jackman

photo credit: streetfsn

photo credit: unknown

I have this obsession with dressing smartly (who knows..) so I relished the opportunity to wear my beloved Zara leather collared blazer that fits like a dream this week while I had work experience at a local newspaper. These images of Miroslava, particularly the one where she is wearing the amazing black trouser one-piece, makes me wish I had a high flying job that enabled me to power dress all the time... just perhaps without the stress?

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Alexander Wang for Balenciaga

I've had a classic 'I need to take to my blog about this!' moment with Alexander Wang's first collection for Balenciaga. I love it to bits, its everything that I expected from the collection and so much more. However, the press/general internet seem to have mostly lukewarm feelings towards it.

It has the firmly Wang influence of amazing and unexpected tailoring and cuts but in a more mature way that fits the legacy and atmosphere of Balenciaga. I think some expected him to bring a carbon copy of his own line to Balenciaga but I'm just not sure it would have worked. Other are perhaps just still nursing their wounds from the departure of Nicolas Ghesquière whose amazing collection some felt   could not be bettered. However, Alexander Wang's collection has taken Balenciaga in a really fresh direction and I'm looking forwards to seeing what is in store for the future.

All images from

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Jackets and Jackets and Jackets

After an absolutely amazing weekend in Prague, I've spent the rest of this week curled up in bed nursing the flu. In between trying to get my housemates to venture out and bring me back supplies and making very ill noises down the phone to my mum, I managed to find the time to fit in watching some of the fall shows. When I'm feeling a bit more up to it then I'll write up my thoughts on the shows. However, I thought I'd do a quick post on a trend that I can't seem to get away from but am really loving... layering jackets!

It has been seen both on the streets and on the catwalk, most recently in the A/W13 DKNY show.

DKNY A/W13 (photos from

I particularly love the black/grey/white contrasts and different jacket lengths as shown above with the cropped jacket paired with a blazer at DKNY. I think a classic coat such as a pea coat or trench coat and a blazer underneath is the best way to work this trend but I've seen great casual versions the trend  such as on this off-duty model below, who looks great with a shearling coat and simple hoodie:

Credit: jak&jil

Source Unknown

I have work experience in a few weeks where I will be required to dress smartly so I'll use that as an excuse to pair my new Zara blazer with my coat. If I did it for lectures it would probably look a little too smart amongst the sea of hoodies...

All from Topshop

Monday, 4 February 2013

Snowy January and Recent Purchases

Sorry I have been absent for some time. I've had exams throughout January and the snow has proven a rather large distraction. Here is what I've been up to:

An amazing curiosity shop we stumbled upon when taking a midnight walk in the snow.

Drove up to Snake Pass (the road connecting Sheffield to the rest of the world) with three of my housemates and had a walk around the reservoir. It was so lovely in the snow.

However, with February comes the start of university again so I'm hoping to post a bit more regularly. I turned twenty on the 16th of January and after feeling very angsty about the end of my teenage years, I ended up having a really nice day at home in Blackburn with the family. It was nice to be cooked for and I went shopping in Manchester with my mum. I was lucky enough to get the much-pined-after Dr Martens that I mentioned in my last wish list. They virtually haven't left my feet since I got them and I'm finding them to be more versatile than my larger black Dr Martens.

In my previous 'wish list' post I rambled about my mission to find a good dark cherry lipstick that was wearable (I'm not very adventurous with lipstick!) I went to the MAC counter in Selfridges in Manchester and after swatching just about every lipstick they have, I stumbled upon 'Dare You' which is this lovely velvety dark red. I apply it with a lip brush for greater definition and it is pretty drink-proof.

I also treated myself to the Studio Fix powder while I was at the counter. I already use the Studio Fix foundation and this powder is so much better than my old Natural Collection pressed powder. I have oily skin but I didn't want anything too matte and this powder takes away excess shine without being extremely mattifying. The eye shadow was a lovely birthday present but I'm yet to discover which shade it is!

I finally got sick of my awful Rimmel eyebrow pencil and invested in the Sleek Brow Kit. It is such a joy to use and has made my brows look infinitely tidier and well defined. I'm quite sparing with it as I'm not a fan of heavy brows but if you are then the kit allows the intensity of the shade to be built up quite intensely.

I had a pretty blah week last week so I popped into a few vintage shops to take my mind off things. I do love vintage clothes but I'm a terrible vintage shopper as I find it difficult to root out amazing finds. However, I was just about to leave Cow empty handed when I spotted this shirt under a jacket on a display. It is very oversized but I love the slight gaudy print. It looks great paired with the new docs and high waisted 'Joni' jeans.

I'm very loyal to my Topshop Leigh jeans and have repurchased them quite a few times over the years because of their great skinny fit around the leg and ankle. However, I've always wished they were a lot more high waisted. I toyed with the idea of getting the American Apparel Easy Jeans for a while but they are a bit too long in the leg for me (as are Cheap Mondays, wah), and a bit too expensive, so I just stuck with the Leigh jeans. However, Topshop finally released some high waisted skinny jeans in the form of the 'Joni' jeans. I immediately rushed out to get some and have been completely coverted. They are incredibly comfortable and very tapered around the ankle which is exactly what I was looking for. They look a lot like the Easy Jean but are a mere fraction of the price, so I definitely recommend them if your budget won't stretch to American Apparel. I might have found 'the' jeans!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Three Wishes and Two Resolutions

Happy new year! Hope you all had a lovely christmas and got what you wanted. I got the amazing Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty book and Grace Coddington's memoirs which I'll do a review of soon. This is just a quick one so here is my fresh (and brief) wish list for the start of 2013:

Dr Martens 1461 in Cherry Red

I am a massive Dr Martens fan. I've worn my first pair of Dr Martens to death over the past year, they're just great for stomping around Sheffield in the rain and mud. Plus they're incredibly comfortable. However, when I got them for my birthday last year it was a big toss up between the classic 1460s (which I got in the end) or the 1461s. I haven't decided between red or black yet but basically all my shoes are black so a bit of variety would be good. I'm going shopping in Manchester with Mum on my 20th (argh) birthday so I will pop into the Dr Martens shop and try these on.

New Balance 576

I go everywhere by foot these days and my feet are starting to look seriously beaten up so I'm accepting the need to dump the flimsy ballet flats in favour of comfortable shoes, or 'proper shoes' as my Mum would call them. I saw this look above posted on Tumblr a few weeks back and I can't stop thinking about how perfect these New Balance 576's are. There is a pair in my size going on eBay but I think I'm gonna hang fire until after my student loan comes in.

Mac Lipstick in 'Dubonnet'

I bought Revlon's 'Black Cherry' a couple of months ago and it is lovely but it is very dark so I can definitely only wear it on nights out. I am looking for a 'wearable' dark cherry lipstick that can work for day and night. MAC's 'Dubonnet'  isn't necessarily going to be the one I'll get because when I go shopping in Manchester, I'm going to pester the MAC consultants about their dark lipsticks and what they think may work best.

I have three main resolutions for this year:

1. Read More

Doing pretty well on this one, I've already got through Grace Coddington's memoirs, The Graduate and Brighton Rock this year. I love reading but I am always quite busy with uni and my part time job so I usually just crash into bed at night but am making an active effort this year to read every night before I go to sleep.

2. Cut down on Coca Cola

Anyone who knows me well will know that I am seriously addicted to Coca Cola. However, it is definitely not doing my poor teeth any favours so this year I am determined to make a serious effort to cut down and only have it as an occasional treat when I'm out and about.

What are your new years resolutions?