Friends of Oasis: But how similar are these new additions?

Topshop are known for their concessions floors, H&M have owned designer partnerships and now Oasis has branched out to include 3 new brands into their stores.

How close Friends are they really?
Friends of Oasis sees three new concessions added to Oasis stores (from the press release it seems to be Liverpool and London leading the way, with concessions launching in Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Dublin, Glasgow, Kingston, Lakeside and Reading later on.) But when I visited the store in Argyll street on Friday I had to question how closely the afinity of the new brands were to Oasis.

Oasis position the new concessions as ‘Like minded brands, that share our passion for fashion.’ For me the Oasis shopper wants fashion that will last; clothes that look and feel good but will last the season and some more (I have a dress that I bought in school that I still pull out for winter meetings). They are the kind of people that see the value in buying a designer handbag that will last the test of time but don’t have the resources to do it.

And whilst the designers they have chosen are fashion forward, a lot of the items I saw in the Argyll Street store were high polyester and obviously so – to me that is not something that would appear in an Oasis collection and so shouldn’t appear in any concession they associate with. So far, so not likeminded.

Sharing a passion for fashion
On the fashion side of things, the brands fare slightly better.

Fever is their ’60’s siren’ range and has some nice dresses that I can see being good for the office.

Friends of Oasis: Fever dressOasis Stores: Fever Dress 2

Pretty yes. Dramatically different from what I can find elsewhere on the high street? Hmmm

Max C is slightly better in that their designs are a little bit different. Their blurb calls the brand ‘quintessentially British’ and this Peter Pan collar dress doesn’t disappoint.

Oasis Dress Max C Peter Pan collar dress

They also have some cute school style cardies.

Oasis Stores: Max C Grey School Cardigan
However, I have to ask – is this all just a little bit copycat rather than leading the pack?

So onto True Decadence, the party brand. There are a few dubious cutout options….

Oasis Stores True Decadence Cut out Dress

But if you root around then there are a few gems to be found.

Oasis True Decadence: Colour Block Dress

So I’m not convinced. But it will be interesting to see how the sales figures show what the rest of shoppers think about Oasis new friends. What do you think- brave move to keep up with trends in retail or brand damaging? Do you feel these brands fit with your view of Oasis?

Travel Card holders don’t have to be dull: Artistic travel card holders

Paperchase Under cover Travel Card holder

Invest in the small things

I once worked with a guy who always carried around a tiny silver pencil and would not write in anything else. When I asked him about it he said, ‘You spend all day with a pen and paper, so making these things the best that they can be will majorly improve your day.’

This is how I feel about travel card holders; if you live in a city you spend a lot of the day commuting so it’s worth investing in something that will brighten up your morning commute.

I’ve picked out a few of my favourite designs below.

Go vintage with Penguin Vintage Book cover travel card holder

‘The Lost Girl’ is my current holder (due to the personal reason of not being particularly good with directions.) I can only find two designs at present, but I’m hoping they’ll be releasing more soon.

Wilde & Wolfe Penguin Vintage Travel Holder: The Lost GirlWilde & Wolfe Penguin Vintage Travel Card Holder: On the Road

Disaster Designs up a travel beauty with their envelope style travel card

Perfect for the globe trotter who is currently stuck in the city, this airmail style travel card holder reminded me of sunnier times when I was dredging through the snow last November.

Disaster Designs: Paper plane travel pass holder

TFL’s take on travel card style

TFL has quite a wide range of travel card holders on their website (and does some quite nifty limited edition collaborations with artists and designers across the year.) I love the way that they have added texture into the range with their wooden travel card designs.

TFL Vintage Wood Travel Card HolderTFL Tom Dixon Travel Card Holder

Paperchase pulls it off again

What can I say? Ice cream colours, girly designs, just lovely.

Paperchase Under cover Travel Card holderPapercase Under Cover Travel Card Holder Orange

the affordable art fair returns

Affordable art fair

We were lucky enough to be given some free tickets to the affordable art fair in Hampstead this year from a friend who had been compd after buying a particularly large and beautiful painting.

The art fair itself is an amazing concept – a giant tent has been errected in the middle of the heath and filled with all types of modern artworks. (It’s a real pity the site doesn’t have a pic of the tent because this giant structure is almost as impressive to my slightly geeky self as the art itself.)

We were pleased and a little surprised to see some of the artists we’ve bought works from in shops and markets here in the art fair. So I thought I’d share my top picks.

Laura Jordan

We came across Laura Jordan’s work in the Backyard Market. The boy and I bought each other a print each to celebrate our anniversary (being typical in our inability to agree on one to buy).

Laura’s work is now on the Time Out First Thursdays art nights, she’s working with the NSPCC and has been interviewed for numerous blogs. I love her destructive style; the tiny people in her drawings look cute at first glance but then when you look deeper you notice all sorts of gruesome details such as crashed buses, angry commuters, trash.

Laura Jordan art

Moose Allan

Moose Allan’s pen and ink drawings have a sense of fun and humour about them that I just can’t resist. His website the world of moose is beautiful too.

Moose Allan art: this is how I spread joy

Ceal Warnants

This is the first time I’ve seen Ceal’s work and I have to admit that, at first glance I took it to be a boring Enid Blyghton style illustration that smacked of my idyllic childhood upbringing. But take a look at the details of her works and you will see a sharp subversive edge, a usurping of the traditional British values that her work seems to show that I just love. My favourite work, Michael’s Mistake is a little too detailed to show here so I’ve picked the slightly more obvious Etiquette for Girls to show but make sure you check out Jealous Gallery for more of her work.

Jayoon Choi

Also represented by the Jealous Gallery is Jayoon Choi, an observational people watcher who’s queues of people and individual characters are so everyday that they immediately feel familiar and friendly. From the humourous ‘are they looking at what I’m seeing’ to the tiny moments he’s captured in his people series, this totally appeals to people watchers of all types.

Jayoon Choi People at Jealous Gallery

Edouart Buzon

And finally, the lovely Edouart Buzon who’s mixed media masterpieces I can only dream of owning at the moment.

Edouart Buzon at Gallerie D'Envie

Edouart Buzon can be found at Gallerie D’Envie.

party dressing – quirky shapes and dramatic details from BHLDN

so it’s not even November and my thoughts are turning to party dressing. Bhldn (pronounced beholden) originates from the same roots as the lovely Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters and just as you would expect brings the same quirky style to it’s collection. Full skirts, beautiful detailing and quirky prints…. mmmmmmm.

BHLDN dresses

I love the way in which the site is shot; taking dresses in different colourways and stylng it up for different occassions. The yellow ribbon dress for example is described as perfect for afternoon tea with the girls:

BHLDN Ribbon Dress

Whilst the white is styled to create some winter glamour – check out those beautiful boots!

BHLDN Ribboned Dress

When you’ve chosen your occasion then you can click through and buy the accessories and shoes all in one go. Too easy really isn’t it?

Homemade…by someone else

With the etsy movement so much entrenched that it’s hard to remember a time without it, handmade is really the way to go for some unique jewellery you won’t find on every girl in the office.

My problem is I’m not sure I’m brave enough to move into the territory of homemade style; questions rush through my mind suc as, if it’s borderline cool will they think I’ve made it myself and sympathy-like it? Will I look like my mum? or even worse a very old girl guide displaying the fruits of this evenings labour?

Well these amazing necklaces from the empress dowagers new jewels have allayed all my fears. Friendly shapes, trendy patterns and unique layering make each necklace a true statement piece that would be perfect over my wadrobe of black slouchy dresses and grey marl.

the empress dowager yellow necklace  the empress dowager layered necklace

the empress dowager chaldedony poppies necklace  the empress dowager reclaimed onyx necklace

Now I’m just waiting for the perfect pattern before I snap up my chosen piece.

art for big kids: Patrick Hruby

Imaginary_Castle_Patrick Hrubry

I was browsing for inspiration when I came across Patrick Hruby’s fantastic illustrations. As we have a very grown up flat and are nowhere near the age of being able to buy stuff for kids then I will either have to rationalise myself into being able to buy a print from somewhere or just content myself with the site (which is very beautiful and cleverly whizzes through lots of illustrations whilst getting to the one you have selected – kind of like a digital card shuffle):

Patrik hubry stylish illusrations

looking at these actually reminded me of how homewear seems too be picking up a gaphic illustration style too – check out this tray from liberties:

London tray liberties

I am yet to work out the fasghion equivalent (aztec cardigans perhaps?) but I really feel that buying prints in this illustrative style is far more fun and fresh than all the typographic posters that have been litrering trendy design stores for the past few years – go forth and embrace your inner child!

time for a new trend perhaps?