Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bird Shirt!

Not so very long ago, I did an entry on how obsessed I was with bird prints.  I had been resisting indulging this obsession, because I figured like all trends that come and go, I would be over it before I had much of a chance to enjoy it.


I love it. I love it so much I am barely contained within the frame of this photograph.
I love it so much I didn't even iron or steam it before I put it on and ran outside. LOVE. IT.
Tibi silk bird print blouse

At first I had it on with just a normal pair of skinny jeans and a pair of red shoes, which was lovely. But I really like it with the bright fuchsia pant.  The whole ensemble sort of speaks for itself, and needs no further accessorising, in my opinion. 

Tibi blouse, New Look pants, Sofft slingback pumps (old)

Do not be surprised when you start to see more posts featuring bird prints. It's coming. You have been warned. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thakoon Addition Maxi Dress

My Thakoon Addition maxi dress arrived today. It is from the fall collection, and it has exceeded my expectations.

The material is a fantastic, gauzy-linen-wool and it floats around the body making you feel pretty. It also is an amazing mix of tribal-esque prints (something that Thakoon excels at, making him one of my very favourite designers), and all sorts of interesting detail....quasi-ruffles and flaps and whatnot. That is, of course, the technical fashion term for it....flaps.


And the back is a racer back! I love me a racer back!


This is a forever piece that I can wear in every season with just a change of a layer. Today I just returned from tennis, so my underlayer is a very classy (and very grimy) weather-inappropriate athletic tank bra.  I know. Gross, right? I was just so excited to try on the dress that I didn't bother to layer properly.  But this dress looks amazing with sandals in summer, or can easily be the foundation for something spectacular in the colder months.

Nine west boots (last season)

Addidas Stella McCartney Jacket

What is also super great about a maxi dress is that the garment itself is easily able to balance out some serious statement jewellery, so you can really pile it on...something I rarely do as I am essentially lazy when it comes to styling, avoiding anything that is too fussy. I also decided to go with the no-makeup red lip look.  Again, laziness. One product as opposed to fifteen.

Red Jasper ring from an art fair (Indonesian?), various and sundry silver bracelets from my collection. 

L'oreal Fatal Red lipstick, silver earrings (old)

So there it is. The Thakoon Addition maxi dress. Better than expected, fun, and as it turns out, nearly impossible to get a clean photograph of that doesn't have a giant bearded collie head in it.  You guys would die laughing of you saw how many shots I had to take to finally get one without a beardie head in it.  The iPhoto "crop" function key got quite a workout today.

Air kisses as to not leave red lipstick marks on Fergus and his giant beardie head. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Whoops....And How To Fix It.

This past weekend, I went on a lovely sailing trip with some friends of ours. It was cold, but crisp, and the sun shone intermittently, more like a teaser, but enough to let us know that it was still there, something that is quite often in question here in Scotland.

And guess who neglected her sunscreen? Yup. That would be me. The girl who never forgets her sunscreen, if only by virtue of the fact that it is in practically every single skincare and cosmetic product that I own. But for whatever reason, I decided to be one with mother nature last weekend, and spent the entire two days with little more than a thin layer of antioxidant (small favours)  moisturiser on my face.  Add to that the very large sunglasses that I like to wear, and it made for an interesting effect, which may or may not be as apparent in this photo as it is face to face.

That is an embarrassingly red nose,  at least for me, and a little bit rosy along the part in my hair as well. Luckily I'm not the burn-y type, but this red nose simply will not stand.  So I set about finding a solution. I did this the way one solves all modern typing "camouflage a red nose" into the Google search bar.

A myriad of things came up, mostly for people with rosacea, allergies, colds, alcoholism, end-stage syphilis (okay, I made that one up...syphilis just makes your nose fall off...) name it. There did not seem to be any entries for "neglectful sailor", but I figured that the advice would be similar no matter the diagnosis. But a lot of the advice, as it turns out, was not for me. Like, really not for me....behold.

1. avoid spicy foods
2. avoid wine 
3. use a green-concealer on the red bits to neutralise the colour.
    When you put green stuff on your face, all you achieve is having green stuff on your says Bobbi Brown and I agree. 

Luckily, I came upon a very brief article on Cosmopolitan online that echoed Bobbi Brown's advice that I thought I had remembered from a beauty lesson gone by. Cosmo wanted me to simply dot a yellow-based concealer on my schnoz, then set it with powder, with the option of using a navy mascara to enhance the eyes and draw focus. I don't have any navy mascara. Whatever.

So I took some of this,

And managed to do this with a little help of some tinted moisturiser.

Crisis averted. At least temporarily. I'll let you know how long it lasts...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Green Tights!

Hue tights, Michael Kors jacket, J. Crew tee and wool / cashmere skirt,
Durango motorcycle boots, scarf I found in a pub one night that nobody claimed.

Okay, maybe they're actually teal, but how fun are these?  And they were free. I found them stuck up in a corner of my socks and underwear drawer, completely unworn, still in the wrapper. I think I may have bought them nearly 10 years ago, which is scary actually, that I have managed to not know they were there for that long. That means that I potentially finished graduate school, met a guy, got married, and moved to Scotland with the tights in tow and somehow managed to remain oblivious to their very existence. Huh.

Never mind, I've found them now. I think I probably was just afraid to wear them when I was that wee bit younger,  perhaps afraid that the colour would make my thighs look huge, or that I would just resemble the Green Lantern a bit too much for my liking. But like so many things in life, you get a little older and just don't care any more. I'm quite pleased with these. They make me feel happy, and...well...visible.  So on with the green teal tights, I say.

The Highland Fashionista is always proud to take part in Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday. Click here to visit Not Dead Yet Style and see what other independent bloggers are doing this Visible Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Graphic Black And White: The Anti-Pastel

As ever, I am spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet getting caught up with my Fashion Week viewing of the collections.  And after viewing some (okay, most) of the available spring 2013 collections, I am  completely excited to wear spring clothes again....even though it has only just turned into fall over here like, two minutes ago, and many of you are likely still sweltering in the indian summer heat while shopping for your fall woolens and on-trend brocade, and I have just only put the shorts away from my vacation like, three minutes ago.....anyway. You know what I mean. Fashion is about what's next, as they are always banging-on about on Project Runway, and I am happy to report that what's next seems to be that an awful lot of designers, many of whom are personal favourites of mine, are choosing to show a lot of graphic black and white in their spring collections.

This excites me. Although I most certainly do not have a fear of colour (far from it), I find the avoidance of colour...okay...the avoidance of pastels in particular a refreshing change for a spring collection, and I welcome this turn of events with open arms. Here, have a gander at some of my favourites so far.

Marc Jacobs
photos: Moda Operandi


Alexander Wang
photo: Moda Operandi

Diane Von furstenburg

Marc Jacobs
Photo: Moda Operandi


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A NY Fashion Week Shopping Spree! Rebecca Minkoff S/S 2013

Last February, if you were following, you will remember that I went more that a little bit drooly-bonkers over Rebecca Minkoff's Fall 2012 Collection.  I have always found her collections to be the Regular Gal's perfect combination of fashion-forwardness and wearability, and her collection at NY Fashion Week's spring 2013 collections was certainly no exception.  Her heavy use of separates make all of her collections easy to transition through the seasons, something those of us who live in rather...erm....inhospitable climates can appreciate.

As luck would have it, Rebecca Minkoff has teamed-up with Bloglovin' this week to offer giveaways to both bloggers and non-bloggers alike, in the form of a shopping spree (yesssss!) at  The very thought of being able to shop with free reign from one of my favourite designers has got me worked-up into quite a state indeed, so lets talk about the particulars quickly while I can still type.

First of all, if you are a non-blogger,  you can view the collection and enter to win by clicking here.

Fellow bloggers,  you can click here....yep... right here, to view the collection and find out more about how to participate on your own blogs.

Okay, now the fun bit. Here are my top picks from the Rebecca Minkoff Spring/Summer 2013 collection, as shown on the runway, and also paired with pieces that I would use to stretch them into a season-straddling, Scottish climate-friendly ensemble that translates well from runway to reality.

Rebecca Minkoff

Boyfriend Jeans by J. Crew, bag by Cambridge Satchel Co., and oxfords by Bass.

Rebecca Minkoff

Vince Camuto boots,  DKNY opaque tights,  DVF Stephanie bag,  Giuseppe Zanotti Sandals.

Rebecca Minkoff

Rachel Zoe Collection tuxedo jacket, Giuseppe Zanotti booties, Doc Marten oxfords, Joseph wool shorts. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Okay, Fall Is Here....I Get It.

Yep. I'm definitely back in the UK. Here's how I know.


So it goes without saying that I am thusly ready to engage in a conversation about fall clothes and beauty.  The mobile posts fraught with images of Mediterranean flowers and swimming pools are no more, and it is freakin' freezing right now.

One of the things that has struck me about this season's clothes is the very 90's vibe to it. From the chunky platform heels and loafers that Miuccia Prada is showing to the very black, grungy, and leathery looks of all of the high street retailers.

But the thing I have been noticing most of all are the lips. Several of my fall magazines were showcasing a very 90's burgundy lip. Remember Chanel Vamp? Yep. Me too. It's back. Check out Karlie Kloss at the Viktor and Rolf show. Trés 1994, right down to the illusion netting on the dress.

Coutresy Elle beauty

Now that I think about it, just about every single photo of me taken between 1993-1996 seems to feature a lip of this colour (and hilariously, quite often the illusion netting as well).  I believe my favourite lip colour was MAC Viva Glam. And that's the original Viva Glam darlings... numero uno.... in the matte formulation, naturally.  Look, here it is now...


about 1996-1997. And yes, that
is a cruise ship uniform. 

So's back. And I guess I'm okay with that. But there is one permutation this time that kind of makes me wish it had been around the first time. 


The Ombré Lip. Well, really the reverse ombré lip. We gals have been doing ombré by putting a lighter colour in the middle for donkey's years, under the direction of beauty editors who promise us a fuller, more luscious pout. But this....this darker bit in the center....this is something I can do. This is something I have been doing, usually at cocktail parties, and usually inadvertently, because of this...

I know I am not alone on this one. The dreaded red wine crusty inner lip stain. If only this had been a thing sooner. I could have been the hippest girl in the room. Sigh. 

So really, it is now a matter of finding my perfect 2012-2013 burgundy lip colour, with or without the wine. I don't have a single tube of MAC Viva Glam left to my name. In fact, I think I only own one tube of classic red lipstick. So I can see that I have my work cut out for me. Let the Argentinian Malbec flow, and let the burgundy lipstick search officially begin.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Home Again & An Open Letter To The Good People At The Gap

We arrived back in the UK last night after our two weeks away, and though the warm sunny bit of the holiday has come to a sad close, there is one last festivity to attend to; the wedding of some friends will take place tomorrow afternoon. So one last hurrah then.

So to kill some time this afternoon, we did some perusing of the shops in Glasgow. It is there that I achieved critical mass in my ongoing frustration with mass market retail sizing, and hence drafted the following letter. First in my head, and then on my blog.

Dear (The) Gap,

Let me preface this correspondence by saying that I love you. I always have loved your classic khakis, and though your t-shirt quality has waned in recent years, I have always taken pains to not hold this against you. Certainly others have been taken in by the siren song of the burnout layering tee and the fiscal enticement of viscose, and therefore I cannot put this on your shoulders alone.

But dear (The) Gap, I do not love you blindly, as a junkie loves a fix, and therefore feel that is is not only a liberty, but an out and out duty that I draw your attention to the absolute crackheadedness that is your garment sizing. To put it plainly, what the "f" is going on with your gianormous sizing!?

To call it "size creep" is an understatement so vast it threatens to make the space-time continuum seem like the scientific equivalent of a mini golf putting range. Let me be blunt. I have worn about the same size since I can remember: US 10, UK 14, Italy 46, etc, etc.

I now refer you to the below photos of me trying on a pile of stuff in your version of my size.

(The) Gap, please cut the crap. You're not helping. The obesity epidemic is so much more than an aesthetic or self-esteem cannot be solved by simply rearranging the numbers. Apart from that, this size creep only serves to make us question our collective sanity.

I am always here for you when you are ready to remember what size 10 looks like.

(The) Highland Fashionista

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Desert Island Products For Regular Gals

The true test of what you really need on a beach or sailing vacation happens when you are actually there. All of the fancy schmancy serums, BB creams, and other "multitasking" products that seem like such a perfect idea when you are packing tend to sit idle, still in the airline-friendly Ziploc baggie. The reality is, like those around you, you can't really be bothered with faffing-about and use as little "stuff" as possible.

The magazines are always making those "desert island" lists of products you might want when stranded, adrift in paradise, as it were. Beauty editors are always putting things like £80 scented candles and £150 pots of sea kelp moisturising creme on their lists, a complete load of poppycock for most of us, and a clear indicator that these people do not vacation in the same way I do. When you are in the middle of nowhere, on the ocean or otherwise, why not take advantage of the fact that nobody can see you and break out the cheap stuff? And scented candles? Honey, please. You're gonna burn the place down with that carry-on. The med already smells like sage, what more do you need?!

So for those of us who prefer a more pragmatic approach, behold the following.

The Tresemme split-mend leave-in treatment on the left is my new miracle product, replacing the expensive exotic oils I have been putting on my hair. It's fairly new, and it works. Big plus, it's whitish-clear and won't turn platinum or silver hair yellow like Moroccan (argan) oil does.

Palmers original cocoa butter body lotion is available in just about every country imaginable, and though it's not the cheapest in the drugstore, it is reliable, has a luxurious texture, and a little goes a long way.

ASDA sunscreen (UK only people, sorry). Inexpensive, easy to apply, and I haven't been burnt in years using this stuff. Seriously. SPF 30...check it out.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vacation Inspiration: Turquoise Meets Coral

Look, I know that we are all supposed to be thinking about fall right now. I just plowed my way through the September issues of US Vogue and UK Elle, and I see the leather influences, the 90s revival chunky shoes, and the menswear-inspired dressing, and I'm mostly excited about it. Okay, maybe with the exception of the thick-soled Doc Martens I saw in a spread in Elle UK. Really!? A return to burgundy-lipsticked Hot Topic teenage angst goth!? Surely not...

Anyway, the point is, it's like ninety-freakin' degrees in Greece right now, and I am not thinking about leather and burgundy lipstick. I have a few vacation days left, and I am still obsessing about turquoise, as I always do, and now we can add coral to the mix as well.

At home I would not even think to walk through town in a bright coral polo dress and flat sandals, but that's the beauty of vacation. With these surroundings as a backdrop, it just seems right.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vacation Colours

I always return from a vacation obsessing about some permutation of aqua blue. The colour of warm weather waters, I suppose. When I returned from a trip to the Cook Islands years back, I painted my entire bedroom swimming pool turquoise, as a friend described it (and not in a flattering way), sewed a new bedspread from a swirly blue pattern (I know, literal interpretation, right?), and put flowy white sheer curtains in the windows, to complement the wicker furniture. That was before I was married, and had bright yellow walls and zebra print throw pillows.

Anyway, my point is, it's probably good that I now have to limit my expressions of aqua to my sartorial choices, because I'm feeling another turquoise phase coming on.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Khari Me Into Fall!

Have a look at these super-cute outerwear pieces by Khari. You can find them on In case you have not seen Boutine yet, it is a site that showcases up and coming designers...and there is some amazing stuff on there; unique, affordable, and super-cool!

I think I am drawn to this bold tartan print for many reasons, not the least of which is that I live in Scotland...but I also used to have many pieces like this back in the 80s. So clearly something is speaking to me here. And for some reason, black and white seems safer if you are going to wear a really crazy loud print....but not too safe. It's all in the balance. Or maybe its all in my head. 

Anyway, Boutine has also added a ...wait for it....SALE SECTION to the site now, and I can hardly contain myself.

 I think I need a cape. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Weird, Wild, Wonderful

Fall is upon us, and it is as if someone took a gigantic turkey baster and sucked the colour right out of the high street shops.  The digital prints and lush botanical colours have given-over to shades of burgundy, camel, and my old nemesis, mustard (shudder).  It's as if fashion is telling us to knock-off our hijinks and tom-foolery, get a haircut,  and get back to work.

But for those if us who aren't quite ready to buckle-down yet, all is not lost.  I present to you, some new pieces from various fall collections that are sure to make you smile.

Urban Outfitters


J. Crew




Peter Pilotto